COVID-19: RCoA's Preparations

Published: 07/03/2020

An update from Royal College of Anaesthetists' Chief Executive, Jono Brüün.

As the Royal College of Anaesthetists, we not only represent the largest single hospital specialty in the NHS (anaesthesia), but also pain medicine (Faculty of Pain Medicine of the RCoA), and intensive care medicine (Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine).

We therefore take seriously our responsibility to provide our more than 23,000 members with the relevant support, information and guidance so they can safely and effectively care for their patients and themselves during this COVID-19 outbreak. Our members have a responsibility too in preventing the further spread of the virus.

Online resource

We have developed an extensive online resource of national and specialty specific guidance to support anaesthetists and intensivists. This is a fast-evolving situation so clinical and public advice is expected to change. Information here will be updated as appropriate, so please check for the latest version.

Social media

For the latest updates from the College and our Faculty twitter channels, please follow the below accounts:

What else are we doing?

Working closely with our members, Government, national health bodies and specialist societies, the College is closely monitoring the national and global COVID-19 situation.

  • The College President and senior staff representatives are in regular contact with the Chief Medical Officer and Government officers to ensure we are in the best position to advise and update our members as the situation evolves.
  • Our three devolved nation representatives are also in regular contact with their respective Chief Medical Officers.
  • Our Communications and External Affairs Directorate is in regular contact with Communications Teams at the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England, Public Health England, specialty groups and other Medical Royal Colleges.
  • We have developed two working groups comprising senior members of College staff and clinicians representing specialist societies and other key health organisations. The role of these two groups is to discuss the review, development and dissemination of relevant clinical guidance in response to COVID-19.
  • We have developed an online forum specifically to enable the College and National Clinical Directors to freely exchange information regarding COVID-19.
    • National Clinical Directors will be the main conduit for information from NHS Hospitals and Trusts to the College. College and Faculty members are asked to use National Clinical Directors as their main point of contact with the College and through whom to share information or raise concerns (
  • In addition to the online resource, we are also developing information for patients and carers to help them understand what to expect when those requiring care, arrive at hospital.

Events and examinations

At present we have not cancelled any UK-based events or activities in keeping with government advice, and we continue to review this on a daily basis.

Please see the below guidance for event delegates and examination candidates.

Business as usual

Working with our members and staff, we continue to review our operational policies to ensure we can maintain a business-as-usual service over the next few months as far as possible, while protecting the health and wellbeing of those who visit or work at the College.  We will provide further updates as and when new information becomes available.

I’d personally like to thank College members and staff who, through their relevant skills and expertise, have enabled us to develop our on-going response to this COVID-19 outbreak.