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The RCP and COVID-19

As a leading health organisation aimed at improving patient care and preventing disease worldwide, the RCP is committed to supporting the global response to COVID-19 and its members who are at the centre of the NHS response.

What we are doing

Emergency preparedness at UK government and NHS England level is being shared with our president Professor Andrew Goddard and our chief officers, so that we are in the best position to advise physicians as the situation changes. We are also supporting our members through the development and dissemination of guidance, developing educational materials and representing feedback from our members. 

To support your continuing development around changing COVID-19 guidance, you can now access new resources from our learning and development page and RCP Player.

Latest developments and guidance

  • President Goddard gave evidence to the Health and Social Select Committee on 30 June, outlining the challenges medical specialities face restarting core activity. The RCP briefing 'Returning the NHS to an even keel' found 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.
  • The RCP set out nine key priorites for the resetting and rebuilding of NHS services, stressing the need to do things differently to embed improvements and tackle health inequalities. Priorities include 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.
  • In June, the RCP published the results of our fourth membership tracking survey. Fewer than half (45%) said they wanted their working pattern to return to what it was before the pandemic. "Reset" was expected to be a slow process, with the vast majority (71%) expecting it to take over a year for services to return to an even keel and 40% expecting this to take over 18 months. Issues with PPE and access to testing have improved but problems still remain. We will continue to raise with national NHS leaders these problems, as well as the need for risk assessments for staff.

Support from the RCP

RCP Player

RCP Player is a new streaming service created for healthcare professionals by healthcare professionals.

With new content uploaded weekly, you can watch videos and audio clips such as regular teach-ins – mini presentations by leading clinicians on timely topics, #doctorsdiaries from the frontline, and a COVID-19 video series featuring a variety of pandemic-related learning materials and videos.

You don’t need to login and access is free of charge. Start streaming today by clicking the icon below.

Latest government advice on COVID-19

For doctors and other healthcare professionals


COVID-19 guidance on education

Organisational responses

For the public

Specialty-specific guidance

For specialty-specific guidance, visit our dedicated section.