Overview of the Council meeting which took place on 10 July 2020.
Mr Edward Morris, RCOG President, reported on the following activities:
- The Guidance Cell continues to update the College’s COVID-19 guidance as new evidence becomes available. A key focus as we move through the pandemic is the restoration and recovery of all NHS services, with the College working in close collaboration with Specialist Societies. The College is also contributing to initiatives led by the Department of Health and Social Care to capture beneficial changes to practice during the pandemic.
- The Race Equality Taskforce would soon be launched, with opportunities for members to apply to join. There would be three workstreams: the output of RCOG committees, the O&G workforce, and outcomes and experiences in O&G care.
- Following publication of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Review report, the President intended to issue an apology to the women affected on behalf of the College.
Kate Lancaster, RCOG CEO, reported on the following activities:
- The key focus of the RCOG during the pandemic continues to be progressing the five key objectives set at the outset of the pandemic for the organisation which aimed to balance the need to step forward and contribute to the national effort through the development of national guidance, support our Fellows and Members as they worked within the global pandemic, deliver as much of the core activity of the College as is possible and navigate the challenging financial position.
- At the same time work continues on the development of the new 5-year strategy for the College, with Council reps invited to comment on the detailed activity planned under each of the four strategic goals.
- Digitisation will be at the forefront of much of the College’s activity, with expansion of our digital capability identified as a key requirement in the strategy development work, underlined by the need to digitise key income streams as a result of the pandemic.
Clinical Quality update
Professor Tim Draycott, Vice President for Clinical Quality, reported on the following activities:
- The Clinical Quality team are beginning to resume work streams which were paused as a result of the impact of COVID-19 on the College.
- Production of the College’s COVID-19 guidance has formally moved into the Clinical Quality team, reflecting the fact that this work is now ‘business as usual’ for the College, and an app version of the pregnancy guidance is in development.
- A Scientific Impact Paper will be commissioned to evaluate changes made to O&G services during the pandemic.
Global Health update
Miss Ranee Thakar, Senior Vice President for Global Health, reported on the following activities:
- The Making Abortion Safe programme has identified the following five countries on which to focus: Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Zimbabwe. Work is under way to begin developing the programme’s work streams.
- Work to embed the Essential Gynaecological Skills programme into the Bangladesh health system is ongoing.
- Bi-monthly meetings are being held with each of the International Representative Committees (IRCs), and a collaborative framework is being developed for future collaborations between the RCOG and IRCs.
Mr Pat O’Brien, Vice President for Membership, reported on the following activities:
- A new online platform to support applications for Associate and Affiliate membership, and for membership admission ceremonies, is being developed, with the aim of streamlining the process.
- The membership subscriptions process is being reviewed, again to improve the experience for members.
- A meeting was being planned between the College Officers and consultants working at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust, where the police are carrying out a scoping exercise into the potential for a criminal case to be brought, to understand what support the College might be able to provide to our colleagues.
Workforce and Professionalism update
Dr Jo Mountfield, Vice President for Workforce and Professionalism, reported on the following activities:
- The RCOG Invited Review service is currently suspended while the College reviews the service provided and considers potential changes to ensure the reviews are as valuable as possible in driving improvements within commissioning Trusts and Health Boards.
- The recent survey of staffing changes and redeployment of O&G staff during the pandemic has informed a number of activities, including engagement with the National Medical Director for NHS England and all Trust CEOs.
- The planned review of advanced and subspecialty curricula is on hold due to the pandemic and will be taken forward later this year.
Miss Sue Ward, Vice President for Education, reported on the following activities:
- The top priority is digitisation of the exams, with the Part 1 and 2 MRCOG and DRCOG exams to run in digital format for the first time this autumn. Options for digitisation of the Part 3 MRCOG are being explored.
- Work to improve the trainee ePortfolio is ongoing, with positive feedback received following the recent round of ARCPs.
- Educational opportunities for trainees is another key issue, with national education bodies writing to Trusts to emphasise the need for local solutions.