Future Hospital Commission

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The Future Hospital Commission, chaired by Professor Sir Michael Rawlins, was established in 2012 by the Royal College of Physicians to address growing concerns about the standards of care currently seen in hospitals, and to make recommendations to provide patients with the safe, high-quality, sustainable care that they deserve.

Key recommendations

Future Hospital Commission's 11 principles of care:

  1. Fundamental standards of care must always be met
  2. Patient experience is valued as much as clinical effectiveness
  3. Responsibility for each patient’s care is clear and communicated
  4. Patients have effective and timely access to care
  5. Patients do not move wards unless this is necessary for their clinical care
  6. Robust arrangements for transferring of care are in place
  7. Good communication with and about patients is the norm
  8. Care is designed to facilitate self-care and health promotion
  9. Services are tailored to meet the needs of individual patients, including vulnerable patients
  10. All patients have a care plan that reflects their specific clinical and support needs
  11. Staff are supported to deliver safe, compassionate care and are committed to improving quality

The Commission examined organisational structures, processes and standards of care, focusing on five key areas:

  • patients and compassion: leadership, responsibility and compassion on the wards and the operation of multidisciplinary teams
  • place and process: patient pathway and the balance between generalist and specialist care
  • people: composition and development of the medical workforce, and interaction between medical and other teams
  • data for improvement: use of patient records, medical information and audit
  • planning infrastructure: organisation of diagnostic, support and community services.

The Commission's final report, Future hospital: caring for medical patients, was published in September 2013 and set out a vision for hospital services structured around the needs of patients, now and in the future.

More information on how the RCP is taking forward the Commission’s recommendations at the Future Hospital Programme webpage.