The NHS and social care system is under pressure as never before. Changing demographics, rising demand and unprecedented financial pressures are leading to huge strains on the system and its staff.

Medical Royal Colleges representing the UKs 200,000 doctors are actively involved in a range of initiatives at local level to make healthcare services more effective and efficient while seeking to continually improve their quality.

However, while this work must continue, it is clear that a wider and honest conversation across the UK is also needed to look at how we continue to provide a health and care system for the future. One that meets the needs of the population and is sustainable in terms of the range of services it offers, the quality of care it provides and its affordability.

This calls for an informed conversation between policy makers, professionals, service providers and above all patients and the public to develop a shared understanding of the contract with society for providing our health and care system.

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges will be setting out its views of what is required and how proposals can be implemented. This will synthesise College and Faculty views and identify key common issues which can be fed into any wider societal debates about what the healthcare system we want looks like, how it will be provided and how it will be funded.