What we are doing
The Royal College of Physicians' (RCP's) mission is to drive improvements in health and healthcare. Our members are at the heart of the health service, working in hospitals across the UK.
We draw on our members' knowledge and expertise to develop evidence-based policy in key areas of healthcare. We champion medical professionalism and leadership, promote person-centred care and drive improvements in clinical practice.
Our 2020 policy priorities
At its September meeting, the RCP Council agreed our policy and campaigns priorities for 2020. These are based on our 2019 policy and campaigns priorities, which we produced with the help of officers, committees, and staff across the RCP, as well as members and fellows.
Make sure the UK has a multiprofessional medical workforce that meets the needs of patients
- Promote the doubling of medical school places by developing and presenting the business case.
- Make sure the NHS remains focused on improving staff retention, particularly by improving workforce health and wellbeing, and inclusion.
- Work with the UK government and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges to increase the MTI to 2,000 places and establish an MTI for countries other than DfID/World Bank priorities.
- Make sure the regulation of physician associates proceeds, and set out and secure agreement for the process to grant them prescribing rights.
Make sure UK health policy is led by the latest research and innovation
- Continue to call for protected time for trainees and consultants for research, from quality improvement to epidemiology and clinical trials.
- Work with NHS, academic and industry partners to increase the research activity of NHS provider organisations, particularly in areas of greatest need.
- Support physicians to develop a greater understanding of the impact new technology and Big Data has on their role, particularly genomics and artificial intelligence, including through education.
Make sure the UK takes an integrated and people-centred approach to health and care
- Promote our principles for what ‘good’ clinically-led integration looks like in an ageing society where multiple long term conditions are becoming the norm.
- Support doctors to engage with and shape their local integration model.
- Continue to call for increased investment in public health and social care.
- Promote principles of best practice in end of life care, including through education, and work with governments to secure better provision.
Make sure government policies across the UK reduce health inequalities, particularly by focusing on preventing ill health
- Continue to support work on specific public health issues, particularly air pollution, alcohol, illegal drugs, obesity, sexual health and tobacco.
- Work with the advisory group on reducing inequalities in health and wellbeing to begin delivering the RCP strategy for reducing health inequalities.
Working with government
The RCP regularly communicates and meets with government, parliamentarians and stakeholders to embed quality improvement across all health policy. We work across Westminster, Wales and the European Union.
Our activity includes:
- providing MPs, peers and civil servants with independent advice to improve policy that is being developed and implemented
- attending political party conferences, holding an annual peers' breakfast, and a series of parliamentary events every year to engage parliamentarians in our policy priorities
- regularly preparing briefings and case studies, and highlighting key statistics for parliamentary debates and speeches.
Working with our members
We encourage the RCP's members and fellows to engage with decision makers in order to highlight the challenges facing health and social care, and the impact of these on patient safety and staff morale.
Our members and fellows know the reality of working in an NHS which is underfunded, underdoctored and overstretched, and your campaigning activity can help to achieve real change.