Home » RCP annual review 2020: Supporting our members in a year like no other
RCP annual review 2020: Supporting our members in a year like no other

This short annual review looks back on the RCP’s key achievements in 2020, a year like no other. 

The impact of COVID-19 on us all will be the enduring memory of 2020. As the pandemic sent shockwaves through society and the NHS, the response from our members and fellows was nothing short of astonishing. Thank you to all who played their part in that response either in the UK or overseas.

This review looks back on the RCP’s key achievements in a year like no other. We dramatically increased our profile, campaigning on issues such as PPE, and renewed our call for action to address workforce shortages. We found new and innovative ways of working, including supporting our members and fellows through the most challenging period in their careers. We quickly moved events and educational resources online, retooled our website as a COVID-19 hub, and provided frequent email updates to members and fellows.

The pandemic has taken its toll on both the public and the profession. In the first wave, more than a fifth of doctors contracted COVID-19 and many died, most from minority ethnic backgrounds. Later, as the New Year arrived, we lost our registrar, Professor Donal O’Donoghue. His death and that of so many others will stay with us forever.

Health inequalities were brutally exposed by the virus and one of our most important achievements in 2020 was to bring together scores of organisations to form the Inequalities in Health Alliance. The development of RCP at The Spine, our new home in Liverpool, will enable us to engage wholeheartedly with initiatives to improve health and address health inequalities in the north of England. It embodies our commitment to members in the north and will transform our facilities for the future with a state-of-the-art assessment centre. Its opening in 2021 marked the culmination of a 5-year vision.

We had to make some difficult decisions to deal with a substantial loss in income in 2020 – exams, conferences and events were particularly affected. The rapid development of alternatives, including the RCP Player and online learning, showed our adaptability.

Overall, we achieved much to be proud of in 2020, in spite of and sometimes because of the circumstances in which we found ourselves. Find out more via the sections below.

Watch a message from our president.

Our achievements

This review presents our activities, significant achievements and successes in 2020 under our five strategic goals:

Key developments

For more detailed information about our work in 2020 and our financial statements, download our annual report below.