The NHS offers some of the highest-quality, most efficient and most accessible healthcare in the world and it tops the Commonwealth Fund ranking of world health systems and heads up polls of what makes people proud to be British. That’s a lot to be proud of.
In recent years the NHS has faced turbulent and challenging times, including rising demand, increased budget deficits and an increasingly demoralised workforce. Earlier this autumn the RCP launched Underfunded, underdoctored, overstretched: The NHS in 2016, which highlighted the need for urgent action to ensure that the NHS is fit and sustainable for future generations.
The RCP has therefore launched Mission: Health to campaign for concerted national and local action to preserve the NHS and ensure that it can continue to provide the gold-standard care that patients deserve.
The project is broken down into three strands of activity:
Working for health
Improving the morale of physicians and wider healthcare staff has the potential to help increase efficiency, improve patient outcomes and ensure patient safety. We will explore the impact of working in the NHS on medical workforce, focusing on raising awareness about issues related to workforce pressures and morale, identifying solutions and developing a longer term vision for the medical profession.
The NHS must evolve if it is to adapt to rising demand from an increasingly medically complex population with varied and often urgent needs. As part of this stream we will explore issues around the organisation and delivery of health services. We will focus on the coordination of care across teams and healthcare settings and the future of plans for 7-day services. This will include building understanding between hospitals and social care to ensure efficient and effective patient care
The RCP has a long history of campaigning on public health issues, for example the 1962 Smoking and health report. With public health issues such as smoking still on the agenda and obesity having an increasingly big impact on public health and demand on the NHS, we will be exploring the broad impact of public health issues on the NHS. This will draw together the RCP’s existing work and messages on public health themes and will, in addition, include a focus on developing our messages and profile on health inequalities.