Dr Tony Falconer, RCOG President, writes...
As I finish my presidency at the RCOG, I would like to thank everyone I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with over the last three years.
On Friday 27 September, David Richmond, current Vice President of Clinical Quality, will be installed as the next President of the RCOG and I know that he will be a very outstanding President.
Looking back, the last three years have certainly been extremely busy but highly rewarding. The NHS reforms and introduction of the new Health and Social Care Act 2012 has seen huge change in the NHS and the more recent Francis report has meant that healthcare has never been so much in the spotlight.
In response to the Francis report, our Manifesto for Change focuses on quality of care for the patient, a vital issue if we are to move on and restore confidence in the NHS. We have a duty as doctors to report on poor or substandard care as stated by the General Medical Council’s Good Medical Practice guidance. It is anticipated that revalidation and a new role for Royal Colleges in visiting units will improve quality and safety.
High quality care is safe, clinically effective and enhances the experience of all patients. It involves following best practice through clinical standards and guidelines and measuring outcomes with the sharing of appropriate information between health and social care colleagues. Our two working party reports produced in the last three years have looked at the importance of providing quality care.
Produced in 2011, High Quality Women’s Health Care looked at how NHS women’s health services could be configured differently and suggested services should be provided in managed clinical networks linking primary, community, secondary and tertiary services. The report also recommended that a life-course approach to women’s healthcare should be adopted utilising every interaction a woman has with the health service, irrespective of age, to promote a healthy lifestyle.
Tomorrow’s Specialist focused on the need for a specialist workforce looking at training and how doctors need to work differently.
This year saw the RCOG’s largest ever Congress in Liverpool with a record number of delegates. Attracting our members from all over the world, the three days were a tremendous success showcasing the latest developments and research in our discipline.
And of course I cannot fail to mention the biggest news story this year – the birth of Prince George. We send our very best wishes to the royal couple and hope they are adapting well to family life and manage to escape the glare of the media at this precious time which is remarkable for any couple.
Finally, I would like to pay tribute to the elected Members and Fellows of Council at the RCOG and my fellow Officers who have helped steer the College through some challenging times during the last three years. I would also like to thank the many Members and Fellows both in the UK and overseas for their insights, support and generous contributions to our work and I hope this continues for years to come.