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Rebuilding the NHS

Now that the initial COVID-19 peak has passed, the RCP is working with its members and NHS leaders to understand the scale of the challenge ahead in rebuilding services and plan what needs to happen in the coming months.

The RCP believes that our healthcare system must not simply return to how it was pre-pandemic. From routine care to reducing health inequalities, particularly for people from ethnic minority backgrounds, we have the opportunity to embed long term improvements.

This page details the work done by the RCP, particularly with the medical specialties, to support the resetting and rebuilding of services. It also links to useful resources produced by NHS England and other health organisations.

    RCP resources

    A series of videos from physicians and NHS leaders, outlining how services are being reset and challenges being addressed in a number of different specialties.

    Providing insight into the challenges facing medical specialties, this briefing shows that almost half of physician specialities, including cardiology, gastroenterology and rheumatology, expect to be working at less than previous pre-COVID activity levels for at least 12 months or more.

    This briefing outlines the RCP's six priorities for future COVID-19 wave planning, covering estate, flu vaccine, workforce, PPE, partnership working and workforce.

    Transforming the urgent and emergency care pathway is crucial to ensure patients are confident they will receive timely urgent and emergency care in a safe environment, delivered on the basis of clinical need whether by primary or secondary care servuces. This joint statement by RCP, RCEM, RCGP and SAM sets out 10 recommendations for how we should work together now to deliver this transformation.

    Stressing the need to do things differently to embed improvements and tackle health inequalities, this statement lists nine priorities including improving the design of services such as outpatients, tackling our ongoing workforce challenges and protected time for clinicians to engage in quality improvement, service redesign and research.

    This statement by the RCP and the RCP and Royal College of General Practitioners outlines how primary and secondary care should work collaboratively to reset outpatient services. Financial reform to introduce a “blended” payment model is needed by the NHS to encourage these necessary changes.

    Highlighting findings from two membership surveys on the significant impact of COVID-19 on the workforce, this submission called on the government to bring forward the NHS People Plan without delay, supported by additional funding to place the NHS workforce on a stronger footing for the years ahead.

    Specialty plans

    Co-badged with the RCP, the following specialities have produced the following short plans to outline the key considerations in resuming and recovering services in the context of restraints on capacity as a result of COVID-19.

    NHS England/Improvement

    Other royal colleges

    Other health organisations