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Council précis, June 2019

Overview of the Council meeting which took place on 14-15 June 2019

Board of Trustees

  • Council heard that following competitive interview, Baroness Tessa Blackstone had been appointed Chair of the Board of Trustees with effect from 8 November 2019.


President's Update

The President gave an update of her recent activities, and highlighted the following points:

  • Representing women's health on the NHS Assembly which 65 other members.
  • Meeting of the College's Abortion Taskforce 31 May with representation from many different parts of the sector, including the Department of Health and Social Care, the independent providers, GMC, HEE et cetera. Council are encouraged to ask colleagues to do the advanced skills module in abortion care, as training is an issue. NHS Specialised Commissioning are making progress on improving access for late gestation terminations.
  • Women's Health Task Force met recently to discuss the menopause. The main focus was improving access to information for women.
  • The government have decided to consult on the pensions issue facing Fellows and Members. Work is ongoing to seek consensus across the medical community.


Strategic development

  • Professor Lumsden, Senior Vice President, gave an update on Strategic Development activities.
  • Work at Union Street is progressing well with all demolition work completed.
  • HEE Maternity Workforce Transformation Workshop took place in April co-chaired by the College.
  • The Later Careers & Retention Task and Finish Group has now met twice, and is looking at issues such as pensions, flexible job plans and workforce retention.
  • Collaborating with the Nuffield Trust to deliver a workshop where the focus will be on potential staffing models for maternity services in small and/or rural hospitals.
  • The 2018/19 O&G Workforce Survey shows a high number of trainees considering leaving O&G on a regular basis. This is a priority for the College to address.


Global health

  • Dr Fawzi, Vice President for Global Health, gave an update on recent activities. Including submitting a bid to secure funding for global development work.
  • Council also heard about the developing situation in Sudan where doctors and healthcare professionals are facing security risks.
  • PRCOG had written to Jeremy Hunt (FCO), Matt Hancock (DHSC) and Rory Stewart (DFID) to raise concerns about the plight of women and healthcare professionals in Sudan.


Clinical quality

  • Mr Morris, Vice President for Clinical Quality, presented a report on RCOG clinical quality activities. 
  • Each Baby Counts (EBC) is currently being supported financially through the College with the aim to secure further funding from the Department of Health and Social Care.
  • EBC Learn and Support held its first workshop.
  • The RCOG invited review into issues at Cwm Taf has initiated a whole review of the Welsh maternity service
  • A new green top guideline format will be launched at Congress 2019. This is more accessible and easy to use with key recommendations at the front.



  • Professor Rymer, Vice President for Education, provided an update on RCOG education activities, including the submission of the revised O&G curricula and provided an update on the genomics taskforce hosted at the College.
  • It was also highlighted that the INDIGO study would be presented at Congress. This is a national study investigating the effect of traumatic events (INDIGO) on doctors and will hopefully lead to Trusts setting up proper support systems for those experiencing traumatic events.



  • Alison Wright, Vice President for UK & Global Membership, presented the Membership Strategy 2019-2021, which sets a clear path for activity in the next 3 years. The focus is on membership and stakeholder engagement and growth, including regional as well as career and role specific support.
  • The Tackling Bullying and Undermining in the NHS event took place on the 4th April 2019 in joint partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. The event was extremely well attended with over 160 delegates.
  • The Clinical Directors Leadership Forum took place on Thursday 16th May. 70 delegates attended the event and took part in a range of workshops aimed at developing and refining their leadership skills to encourage a culture that supports all healthcare professionals to delivers better health care for women.
  • A new job plan template has been created. This provides guidance to employers when putting together their job planning pack. This will help to reduce turn-around time and the number of revisions thanks to the inclusion of a helpful checklist.


Academic Board

  • The Board has set up a Genomics Taskforce, led by Dr Brianna Cloke, with the aim to establish genomics expertise within the discipline of obstetrics and gynaecology.  The Genomics Taskforce met for the first time on 10 May and a full report of the meeting will be available for the September Council meeting.
  • Academic Board has called for nominations from College Board Chairs and Academic Board Members for the Annual Academic Award.
  • The Chair of the Academic Board has contacted College Officers suggesting the formation of a new Taskforce on Artificial Intelligence and has identified a Taskforce Chair, Professor Fiona Denison from the University of Edinburgh


Women's Network

  • Kate Brian, Women's Voices Lead, reported that the Fertility Forum event had been popular and videos from the event are now online, providing a great resource
  • There is currently a shortage of HRT supplies due to a variety of reasons. This has been raised and the College will keep track of the issue.


CEO's Update

  • Kate Lancaster, shared the CEO and executive director report, updating council on Congress, the CRM project, NMPA, the curricula, invited reviews, Each Baby Counts Learn and Support, Union Street and fundraising activities.