Our policy priorities

We use our knowledge of current developments in health and care, our members' knowledge and expertise, and our relationships with key partners to decide our influencing priorities. We keep them under constant review, shifting our focus as necessary. These priorities are due for review in 2026.

Our priorities

Make sure the UK has a medical workforce that meets the needs of patients

We will campaign for an increase in the number of medical students and we will also make the case for publicly available data on the number of staff needed relative to patient demand. We will work with others to improve the experience of training and employment to improve retention and morale and to make the UK attractive and accessible to doctors and trainees from overseas. We will encourage more opportunities for participation in medicine and support work to tackle racism and other forms of discrimination in medicine. We will support the regulation of physician associates and promote the profession. We will promote better multidisciplinary team working and a safe, reflective learning culture.

Read about our work supporting the workforce
Patient And Consultant

Make sure UK policy reduces health inequalities by focusing on prevention

We will promote the principle that prevention is better than cure, and that many of the most effective preventative actions sit outside the NHS and government departments of health and social care. We will focus on air quality, obesity, sexual health, tobacco and alcohol as well as the social determinants of health that lead or contribute to ill health. We will continue to convene the Inequalities in Health Alliance, established by the RCP in 2020, to make the case that we need a cross-government strategy to reduce health inequalities and take action on the social determinants of health.

And as a founder member of Action on Smoking and Health, Alcohol Health Alliance, the Obesity Health Alliance and the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change, we will work with these alliances to influence government, the NHS and others.

More on our latest work on health inequalities
Inequalities (1)

Make sure UK health policy is led by the latest research and innovation

We will promote the benefits of new technology and clinical research to improve patient outcomes and access to new treatments. We will make the case for protected time for research and support NHS organisations to facilitate clinical research. We will continue to lead in defining high-quality care and medical safety.

More on our work supporting UK research and innovation
Research (1)

Make sure UK climate and sustainability policy protects population health 

We will make the case for ambitious government action to tackle climate change, recognising that it is the biggest long-term threat to health in the UK and globally. We will use our insight and expertise to support the NHS to deliver its net zero commitments. We will promote behaviour change – for example in terms of travel and fuels burnt at home – which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and improves public health, and will continue to campaign for better air quality across the UK. We will improve the knowledge of healthcare professionals about the health impacts of climate change.

More on our work on tackling climate change
Pollution Collage