RCP North: Phase 1 of the Royal College of Physicians’ New Centre for Excellence Officially Opens in Liverpool.

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) is delighted to announce the official opening of RCP North on 10 October 2017 – Phase 1 in its development of a major centre of clinical excellence in Liverpool. Based in the William Henry Duncan Building which is owned by Liverpool University, Phase 1 is situated on Liverpool University’s campus. Two floors have been converted into suitable spaces for clinical examinations, workshops and office space, with RCP’s Regional Office for Mersey and North Western the first department to have moved in.

Phase 1 is the start of a long-term plan to provide services outside of the capital, responding to the desire for more education and research in northern England, Scotland and north Wales and Northern Ireland, and upholding RCP’s strategic vision to benefit its members, fellows and partners in its commitment to improve patient care in the UK and internationally.

The doors of the interim northern home opened to welcome a wide range of guests; from the Knowledge Quarter Liverpool (KQ Liverpool) partners, Liverpool City Council, health centres, cultural organisations as well as local regional advisers, college tutors and examiners. Following the cutting of a ceremonial ribbon, inspired speeches were given by Professor Jane Dacre, RCP president, Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, and Professor Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor of University of Liverpool.  Former president of the RCP Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, now Board Chairman of Liverpool Health Partners, delivered his speech via pre-recorded video.

Together they underlined RCP North’s ambition to provide quality improvement, research, medical training, examinations and conference facilities, marking the new Northern presence as a milestone in the RCP’s objective to extend its benefits closer to regional members. Following speeches, invited guests then had the opportunity to explore the new facilities, a taste of the state of the art technology and modern architecture in store for RCP North’s permanent new building in Phase 2.

Members and fellows already experienced RCP North’s positive impact in early September as RCP North held its first event. Over 100 college tutors and associate college tutors, flag bearers for shaping training and the internal medicine curriculum, attended the CT &ACT National Conference and experienced a vibrant conference filled with breakout workshops, networking and talks. Feedback reflected positive attendee response in solidarity of RCP’s strategy to strengthen the college’s local links with those working on the ground across regions. The MRCP (UK) PACES exam to take place following the opening is indicative of the new collaborative opportunities being generated and the RCP’s responsiveness to healthcare sector needs.

Due to open in Summer 2020, Phase 2 of RCP North will see a new iconic £35 million development of a 70,000 sq ft. northern home, to occupy a prime position in the heart of Paddington Village, part of KQ Liverpool. Its ergonomic architecture will be designed by AHR architects, who won a competition in partnership with Liverpool City Council and construction company Morgan Sindall.

Professor Jane Dacre, president of the RCP, said: “We are excited by the tremendous reception we have received – none of it is possible without the strong and generous partnerships we have forged with Liverpool City Council, University of Liverpool, KQ Liverpool and Liverpool Health Partners.  We turn a landmark 500 years old in 2018, and RCP North and the city of Liverpool offers an impressive, vibrant home to enhance our passion to improve patient care quality beyond the UK and far into the future.”

Sir Ian Gilmore, Board Chairman of Liverpool Health Partners, comments: “As a past-president of the Royal College of Physicians of London, I am delighted that the College has made this exciting step to make clear its commitment to the North of the country in its vital role in standard setting, education and patient care.  The whole of the city of Liverpool is united to work in partnership with the RCP to make this a reality and to be an integral part of its celebration of 500 years of excellence. “

Professor Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool, adds: “I am delighted that we are welcoming the Royal College of Physicians to Liverpool. The healthcare knowledge economy in the city region is already world-leading and this illustrious addition will certainly further advance this position. I look forward to us working closely together to improve healthcare and wellbeing and to tackle infection and disease.”

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, said: “The arrival of the RCP in Liverpool marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for KQ Liverpool and the city’s future economic development. The facilities and jobs RCP North will bring to the city will be of huge benefit and their new home in Paddington Village will be a real landmark moment.

“I warmly welcome the RCP’s investment and confidence in Liverpool as it is a signal of the huge potential of KQ Liverpool and we look forward to more businesses and organisations joining them over the coming years as its reputation for world-class excellence develops around the world.”