Our strategy

It is essential that anaesthetists, intensivists and specialists in pain medicine understand their patients’ needs, expectations and worries, as well as what matters to them most in terms of their health and wellbeing. This is why the College set up its Lay Committee in 1998.

Professor Ravi Mahajan
RCoA President (February 2021)

Our purpose and vision

We are volunteers who support, advise and influence the College to continually improve patients’ experience of anaesthesia and perioperative care.

Link with the College’s Strategic Plan

We represent patients and the public across the College. Strand three of the College’s Strategic Plan 2018–2021 refers to our role. This interim strategic plan sets a clear direction for our future work. We will formulate a workplan and track our performance against our aims. We will contribute to the development of the College’s new strategic plan (for three to five years from 2022), adjusting and finalising our plan to ensure we remain aligned with the College’s vision and aims.

Our values

We share the College values and interpret them in our own context.

  • Expert: we are committed to supporting the College as it strives
    for excellence and develops expert clinicians.
  • Positive: we are constructive, collaborative and proactive.
  • Inclusive: we believe we should use our influence on behalf of all groups in our community. We value diversity and deplore discrimination.
  • Forward-thinking: we seek out and embrace opportunities to innovate and improve.
  • Ambitious: we believe the voices of patients and the public should be heard throughout the College.

The three strands of our strategic plan

1 Developing a stronger, more influential and representative voice


We are known and respected throughout the College as a team of lay people whose focus is firmly on ensuring the College puts safety and the interests of patients and the public at the centre of all its activities.


To develop the power of our own voice to ensure we influence every level of the College’s work.

To play a significant role in the development of the new College strategy, influencing both direction and approach and advocating a focus on patient involvement.

To improve the breadth and depth of our influence by building a more diverse Lay Committee and championing equality, diversity and inclusion in everything we do and say.

2 Improving our communication and engagement internally and externally


We communicate effectively within our team and with the wider College as well as reaching out to engage with patients and the public.


To find and utilise ways of improving communication between ourselves and with people at the College, including Council, members and staff. To explore ways of extending our reach beyond the College so that we can:

a be advocates for the College;

b promote understanding of the role of anaesthetists in healthcare; and

c improve our own understanding of patients’ and the public’s views and priorities.

3 Maximising our contribution by developing effective ways of working


We work in ways that derive the most value from our volunteer resource and ensure we realise our potential to support the College in achieving its strategic objectives.


To improve the ways we work so that we operate as a supportive, effective and efficient team whose members enjoy and value their role with the College. To develop into an influential team which uses a variety of approaches to ensure the College hears patients’ and the public’s voices and makes those voices central to all its activities.