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RCP publishes ethical guidance for endemic COVID-19

The RCP, with support from RCEM, RCGP, RCN, RCPE, RCPSG, RCPsych and RCSE, has published guidance for NHS staff negotiating the NHS ‘Road to Recovery’.

The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated several changes and pauses to NHS services. In recent months, as COVID-19 moves towards becoming an endemic disease, many vital NHS services have ‘re-started’.

So we have moved into a new phase, which the government has named the ‘Road to Recovery’ of the NHS. It is an opportunity to implement new, evidenced-based ways of working to make the NHS more effective and resilient.

The practical ethical challenges will change as different pathways for the NHS ‘Road to Recovery’ are outlined by the Department of Health and Social Care. This guidance covers the difficult and distinctive ethical issues that NHS staff will face while caring for their patients during this period and beyond:

  • Patient-Centred Care and Decision-Making
  • Reducing health inequalities
  • Caring for COVID-19 vs non-COVID-19 patients
  • Resumption of "non-clinical” care practices
  • Taking a nation-wide approach
  • The ‘Road to Recovery’ must mean striving for something better.

This guidance follows the February 2020 RCP Guidance for frontline staff dealing with the pandemic. We will continue to monitor the situation and publish further guidance as necessary.

If you would like to discuss this guidance or issues related to the recovery of NHS services, please contact us via policy@rcp.ac.uk.

The NHS ‘Road to Recovery’: Ethical guidance for endemic COVID-19.