The Royal College of Physicians has responded to publication of Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty’s first independent annual report ‘Health trends and variation in England', which argues for more action to address health inequalities.
Professor Andrew Goddard, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said:
"Chief Medical officer ‘s annual report is an important reminder of the long-standing health challenges we face as a country.
"He is right to highlight the issue of health inequalities, which the pandemic has both exposed and exacerbated. The RCP, along with more than 140 other members of the newly formed Health Inequalities Alliance, is calling for a cross-government strategy to tackle these as a matter of urgency.
“The challenge of supporting increasing numbers of older people in rural areas with conditions such as dementia and cardiovascular disease also needs to be met head-on. First, we cannot ignore the clear reality that we are not training enough doctors and many rural hospitals face severe recruitment problems as a result.
“We also need to do more to enable rural hospitals to become involved in clinical research, helping their patients get the latest treatments.
"The increasing prevalence of multiple health conditions requires a smart response, including ensuring that the workforce has generalist skills and breaking down barriers between different parts of our health and care system to move towards truly patient-centred integrated care.”
The RCP will next month publish a landmark report ‘Double or quits: a blueprint for expanding medical school places’ to press for action on training more doctors.