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Welcome from the President

Welcome message from Professor Lesley Regan, President of the RCOG

Lesley ReganDear friends, members and colleagues,

May I wish you all a very happy new year and all the very best for the future.

2019 marks a momentous chapter in the history of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) as we begin celebrations for our 90th anniversary.

The College was first established nine decades ago by two true radicals, Professors William Fletcher Shaw and William Blair-Bell, who rightly recognised that women would only receive the care they deserve if the profession of Obstetrics and Gynaecology was formally acknowledged in its own right and recognised by the formation of an independent College.

Their dedication and determination was the start of a new era for girl’s and women’s health.

Throughout this landmark year, we will be looking back at our huge achievements across 90 years and our rich history and heritage, as well as looking ahead to the future of the College and our ambitious plans to further transform the health of girls and women.

We are now seen as a leader in women’s health care, both in the UK and overseas. And, with over 16,000 members worldwide, we have certainly come a long way from our humble beginnings.

As we prepare to celebrate our 90th birthday, we are getting ready for the next major steps and milestones in our history.

In my new role as co-chair of the new Women’s Health Taskforce, alongside Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price MP, we will be bringing together women, policy-makers and healthcare professionals to significantly improve the health of girls and women in this country, across their life course.

Never has this been more important. Today, women represent 51% of the UK population and 44% of the workforce. They play a very influential role in the nation’s health, yet are disproportionately affected by inequalities in access to and quality of care.

Women’s voices and personal experiences remain at the heart of what we do, and throughout the coming year, we will also be sharing stories from inspirational women who have helped to shape and influence our work.

In February, we will see our first full year of working with our new Patron, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge. We look forward to continuing to discuss our shared interests within the field of women’s health care and our future endeavours together.

Next year will also mark the College’s last year at its current home in Sussex Place, before a planned relocation to London Bridge at the end of the year. This move will safeguard and enhance the College as a hub for women’s healthcare for future generations.

Striving for continued improvements and change will not always be a smooth path. Nevertheless, we are determined to continue the radical spirit that drove the College’s two founders to establish the RCOG 90 years ago. Professor Blair-Bell and Fletcher-Shaw gave the College the motto, ‘Super Ardua Consurgamus’, or ‘We must overcome our difficulties’. We need to keep their spirit alive to ensure that we continue to make brave decisions and embrace advances in women’s healthcare. Above all, it is our responsibility to put our heads above the parapet and to speak out for the women we care for, who too often have no voice of their own.

I would like to end by thanking you all for the incredible work you do for the College, for your perseverance in this particularly challenging time and for your commitment to women’s health.

I truly believe that the next 90 years will herald radical improvements for girls and women, everywhere.

With very best wishes for the year ahead,

Lesley