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Royal colleges call for greater investment in NHS workforce from next government

The Royal College of Physicians is calling on the next government to place patient care at the centre of the Brexit negotiations.

As the General Election approaches on 8 June, a number of colleges are releasing their wish lists for the NHS going forward.

The RCP called on the next government to protect the right of the NHS workers from Europe to remain in the UK, and develop a clear plan for staffing the NHS and social care in the long-term.

Other demands including investment in the NHS workforce, with the recruitment of more doctors, better training and the promotion of new roles such as physician associates.

The RCP also wants a new financial settlement for the NHS and social care that meets growing demand, and better investment in public health.

RCP president Professor Jane Dacre said: “With each new government comes a new opportunity to ensure that the NHS has the resources, people and services it needs to provide the care that our patients deserve.

“Patients must be at the centre of decisions made on healthcare provision, and that includes serious consideration of the implications of Brexit on patient care.”

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine also called on the next government to increase the numbers of emergency doctors.

Emergency Medicine physician training posts should be increased by 250 places per annum for 4 years. And 2,200 new consultants are needed overall in Emergency Departments in England to achieve safe and sustainable staffing levels.

Since 2010-11 attendances in England have increased by 1,031,164 (7.4%) – equivalent to the workload of 10 medium sized departments, the College says.

It also calls for greater support for hospitals so they can successfully tackle ‘exit block’ and crowding in Emergency Departments.

The College estimates that there’s a shortfall of at least 5,065 beds in England alone. In addition, better social care provision and community care packages would help maintain flow in the hospital system.

The government also needs to aspire to the ‘Integrated Front Door’, with vital co-located services such as frailty teams, pharmacists, mental health specialists and GPs for minor illness.

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