RCP responds to today's publication by NHS England of a delivery plan for tackling the COVID-19 backlog of elective care.
Andrew Goddard, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said:
“The focus this plan gives us for the next 3 years is welcome, as is its recognition that staff are central to successful elective recovery. But we must remember that the pressure the service is currently under has become the norm. The plan will only be successful if it is implemented alongside recovery of urgent and emergency care, as the two are intimately entwined both with respect to workforce and estate.
“We will also need to build on it with a full plan for recruiting enough new staff to meet patient demand and the steps we’ll take to retain existing staff, including flexible and remote working for those returning to practice. Targets help patients to understand what they can expect from the health service – but they cannot be met without a supply of clinicians that is sufficient to meet the demand for care."