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Council précis, January 2018

Précis from the Council meeting which took place on 26 January 2018


Presentations on regional issues

At each Council meeting, regional representatives present on projects, activities and issues in their constituency for discussion and consideration by Council.

  • Susan Ward and Indranil Dutta, Fellows’ and Members’ representatives for the East Midlands respectively, presented on: financial pressures and the impact of PFIs in their region; rota gaps; how training posts are managed across both teaching hospitals and district general hospitals; geographical pressures, including how to support and encourage trainees to take up posts in more remote hospitals; and the success of the Birmingham and Midlands Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society (BMOGS).



  • Following analysis of the national data from the Training Evaluation Forms (TEF), awards for excellent results have been presented to a number of trusts. The College will be sharing key findings so all members can learn from highly performing units.
  • The INDIGO study (investigating traumatic work-related events in O&G) is due to complete all interviews by the end of February 2018. The full report will be ready by the end of July and we will be communicating the findings to all members.
  • Health Education England have confirmed there will be more money available for study leave for trainees. The details are still to be finalised and we will advise all members once everything has been agreed.
  • Members are asked to note details of the next three RCOG World Congresses: Singapore, 21–24 March 2018; London, 17–19 June 2019; and Muscat, Oman, 25–28 March 2020.


Global health

  • The new Global Health Advisory Committee has met for the first time. Its role is to provide advice, support and direction to the College’s global health work, including the Centre for Women’s Global Health.
  • The College is running a pilot of the Essential Gynaecological Skills Course in Nigeria. Funded by income from the RCOG’s challenge events, this is a joint venture between the College and the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital. We are currently recruiting two posts for this project: a Project Manager and a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer.
  • The College will be marking four international advocacy days in 2018, using the opportunity to raise awareness of key women’s health issues: International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM; International Day to End Obstetric Fistula; Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion; and International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women


Clinical quality

  • The National Maternity and Perinatal Audit (NMPA) team is working on data collection for 2016/17, which will be reported in autumn 2018; and on developing the scope of the first sprint audits, which are ‘deep dives’ into specific aspects of maternity and perinatal care. The team is also undertaking further analysis of the impact of missing data on some of the published results.
  • The Each Baby Counts (EBC) team is planning its outputs for 2018, which will focus on key themes such as human factors, recognising risk and failure to follow guidelines. Following the launch of the new maternity safety strategy for England, the team is also working with other stakeholders to launch EBC Learn and Support, to support implementation of national safety initiatives at trust level; and to support the roll-out of the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) maternity safety investigations.
  • The College has published its first joint patient information leaflet, on group B streptococcus with the charity Group B Strep Support. Feedback has been extremely positive, noting the importance of women receiving the same information from both a medical body and a patient support group.


Strategic development

  • The O&G workforce report was published in November, providing an overview of workforce numbers, working patterns, current challenges and RCOG actions. The survey for this year’s report, which will ensure our data is up-to-date, is out now. Based on the data we have, we are working with HEE and the RCM on HEE’s draft maternity workforce strategy, and writing our response to the wider NHS workforce strategy consultation.
  • Following the College’s purchase of Union Street as our new home from December 2019, our architects have been working on plans for how best to develop the building to meet the needs of our members and staff. Once plans become more concrete later in the year, we will be able to share the plans and our progress with the membership.
  • The College will be holding its annual International Women’s Day event on 2 March, with the aim of helping the RCOG understand how it could best use its medical expertise in education and training as well as the clinical skills of individual members to support women in areas affected by conflict. There will be an accompanying art exhibition that explores some of the key themes.


UK and global membership

  • The College will be reviewing all role descriptions for committee and honorary positions to ensure the eligibility criteria are as inclusive as possible. The default position will be that, unless there are exceptional circumstances, roles should be open to all – including specialty doctors, trainees, those working in the private or independent sector, and newly retired members.
  • The ‘Supporting Our Doctors’ group has launched a number of initiatives, including working with the GMC and trusts to support more local resolution of issues; developing a ‘top tips’ document to provide advice and support to any doctor reported to the GMC; and shaping the College’s peer-to-peer support service. The group is also developing a service that would allow trusts to request College representatives to provide an expert O&G opinion to help define which issues can be addressed locally and which would warrant reporting to the GMC.


Women’s Network

  • The Women’s Network (WN) has developed a survey that will be circulated to female Fellows and Members asking for their views on whether they would take/are taking HRT themselves. This is part of the work of the Women’s Network to improve the information provided to women on these issues. The WN is also developing, with partners, a plan for a fertility information day that would focus on the evidence base, as concerns have been expressed about the commercial nature of many of the events open to women.
  • The Women’s Voices Involvement Panel (WVIP) has raised concerns about cuts to sexual health services and the impact on women, including reports of lack of access to smear tests; and is keen to explore how they could support an increased focus on human factors and communications training within CPD as well as the training curriculum.
  • The WN is keen to explore how they could do more to support research within women’s health, and how they could support the College’s work on burnout and rota gaps, given women are ultimately affected.


Academic O&G

  • The first Clinical Research Skills for Women’s Health Study Day, part of the Advanced Professional Module (APM) in Clinical Research, was held on 1 November and received very positive feedback. The next event will take place on 5 September 2018 and is aimed at anyone interested in the development and delivery of research in women’s health.
  • On 6 April a Reproductive Health Academic Engagement Forum will be held at the College, looking at how the RCOG can better support junior and senior academics working in reproductive health in the UK.
  • The terms of reference for each of the Clinical Study Groups are being reviewed, to ensure they reflect the current needs of the RCOG – including appropriate representation across subspecialties, impact assessments and trainee representation.


Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare

  • Following a governance review, the FSRH has now established a Board of Trustees which met for the first time in January 2018.
  • Work is under way to review the Diploma of the FSRH (DFSRH) to ensure it rem
  • Following a number of requests, the FSRH is working on a modified version of its assessments for use in other countries.
  • This year the FSRH has been granted 9 training places – a significant increase on last year when only 4 places were available.


President’s update

  • Perinatal mental health: The first annual training day in perinatal mental health was held in December 2017, with excellent feedback – the next date is 13/14 December 2018. We also continue to engage with HEE and NHS England regarding publication of data regarding the provision of perinatal mental health care within obstetrics, midwifery and health visiting.
  • Maternity Transformation Programme/Board: There has been much engagement with the ministerial team at the Department of Health and Social Care, the RCM and various NHS bodies following the Secretary of State’s relaunch of the maternity safety strategy, ensuring the voice of the professions that provide care is represented as implementation of the strategy is planned.
  • Abortion: The need for specialised commissioning of complex and late-gestation abortion care has been agreed, with 5 regional centres planned across England. The revised curriculum for abortion care has been agreed by Education Board and awaits approval from the GMC before launch. We are also engaging with a number of stakeholders to support the introduction of home use of misoprostol in England, following last year’s announcement in Scotland.