Winter pressures – write to your NHS trust CEO

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The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) encourages members and fellows to engage with NHS decision makers in order to highlight the challenges facing health and social care, and the impact of these on patient safety and staff morale.

Write to the CEO of your NHS trust

The RCP recently wrote to trust chief executive officers with our guidance, Preparing for winter. We are now asking our members and fellows to write to NHS trust CEOs to find out how winter preparations are going.

The system remains under pressure and it is important that we are all doing everything we can to help one another. Our members and fellows can play a vital role in ensuring that NHS trusts are prepared for the pressures of winter and that they are proactive in supporting decision makers through a challenging period.

You should be able to find the name and contact details of your chief executive officer on your trust's website or intranet.

Template letter content

Dear CEO name,

Re: Winter pressures

I am writing to you following the publication of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) guidance 'Preparing for winter'. I am a doctor / physician / physician associate working at trust / hospital name. I am also a member/fellow of the RCP.

As we enter the winter period it is important that we are all doing everything we can to prepare and support one another to ensure patient safety and deliver high quality patient care particularly at a time when we are all under pressure.

In early November the RCP wrote to you with the guidance they have developed for clinical and system managers which complements the guidance written by other organisations.

The guidance focuses on the issues that RCP members identified as the most important, including:

  • Hospitals should improve delivery of care by implementing good practice, as reflected in current standards and guidance.
  • Hospitals must put in place an organisation-wide plan for improving patient flow.
  • Hospitals must put facilities and plans in place to protect the physical and mental wellbeing of the workforce.
  • Hospitals must work in partnership with other local services to minimise unnecessary occupancy.

I hope that you found the RCP guidance useful. I am interested to understand how trust / hospital name has prepared for the winter period and how clinicians and management can work together across this challenging period, as the NHS remains underfunded, underdoctored and overstretched. In particular, how you may have used the guidance from the RCP, and if there have been any challenges implementing this or any other good practice guidance.

Yours sincerely,

Your name

Your experiences matter

Our template letters are designed as a starting point for members and fellows. Your correspondence is much more likely to have an impact if you include:

  • personal experiences and perspective
  • potential solutions to the issues.

Share your responses

To help the RCP support advocacy activity we would be grateful if you could share any correspondence you receive by forwarding it to RCP public affairs adviser Rory Murray: