RCP Press statement on the next phase of the NHS listening exercise

RCP Press statement on the next phase of the NHS listening exercise

The Royal College of Physicians welcomes the announcement of the next stage of the listening exercise. The four areas of work are key issues for the RCP and our members and fellows: education and training, information, public health and integration, will all benefit from the Future Forum’s scrutiny.

Sir Richard Thompson, president of the Royal College of Physicians said,

‘The first Future Forum report resulted in some positive changes to the Health and Social Care Bill. However, there are still areas of the government’s proposed reforms that require clarity and could be improved. The next phase of Future Forum work will hopefully improve the health service reforms further.’

On medical education and training, Sir Richard said:

‘The RCP had significant concerns with the government’s proposals regarding medical education and training. As the Future Forum have acknowledged, mistakes in this area could be costly and the impact of mistakes on both the health service and the public will be long lasting. The functions of postgraduate deaneries, including essential quality assurance, must be retained over the long term.’

On information, Sir Richard said:

‘The way the NHS analyses, gathers and holds data, should be transformed and there should be a fundamental review of the information we seek. The RCP’s Health Informatics Unit is dedicated to developing patient-focused record standards and guidelines and can feed into this important work.’

Also on information, Suzie Hughes, chair of the RCP’s Patient and Carer Network said:

‘Patients cannot make meaningful choices about their care without good quality information. An inadequate informatics system will undermine, even derail, efforts to build a more efficient, innovative and responsive health service. It must be possible to synchronise records and enable data sharing, comparison and integration across providers, boundaries and specialties. I welcome the Future Forum’s focus in this area.’

On integration, Sir Richard said:

‘Significant benefits for patients can be achieved by joining up care across the NHS and social care, removing artificial barriers between primary and secondary care. The RCP supports the increased emphasis on quality, collaboration and integration, and the removal of references to ‘promoting competition’ in the Health and Social Care Bill as a result of the previous listening exercise. However changes in tone and wording must be backed up by a regulatory and pricing system that also values quality and collaboration over competition and choice of provider and ensures hospital doctors retain a strong voice in the new system.’

On public health, Sir Richard said:

‘Public health must retain strong medical links and have seamless links to clinical commissioning groups.’

For more information please contact Lisa Cunningham, Senior public affairs and PR officer lisa.cunningham@rcplondon.ac.uk 020 30751468 or 07990745610.

Lisa Cunningham | Senior Public Affairs and PR Officer
External Affairs, Communications Department | Royal College of Physicians
11 St Andrews Place | Regent’s Park | London NW1 4LE

Direct line +44 (0)20 30751468 | Mobile 07990745610 | Fax +44 (0)20 7486 5425