Mission: Health

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.

What we are doing

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 2016which 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.

Census of consultant physicians and higher specialty trainees in the UK

Delivering health

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

Creating health

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.

What we have produced

The Royal College of Physicians' (RCP's) 'Feeling the pressure: Patient care in an overstretched NHS in Wales' report documents the results of a snapshot survey on the winter pressures faced by doctors in Wales. 
As levels of need rise in hospitals that operate with no slack, the RCP's 'NHS reality check: Delivering care under pressure' report lays out what this means for patient care through the voices of over 2,100 doctors.
This report collates hospital doctors’ experiences of working in NHS hospitals between December 2016 and January 2017.
This is the eighth annual survey reporting the experiences of and outcomes for CCT holders within 1 year of gaining their CCT in the medical specialties in the UK.
This report explores the challenges that face the NHS from the perspective of junior doctors, and it is drawn directly from their experiences.
This report focuses on developing the evidence base to support new ways of assessing and improving doctors’ morale.
The RCP's new report, Physicians on the front line: The medical workforce in Wales in 2016, calls for a long-term vision for the Welsh NHS that shows real ambition on service change.
The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has long argued that we need to rethink the way we deliver healthcare: breaking down barriers between hospitals and the community, and working in partnership with patients to deliver joined-up care.