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RCOG statement on NHSCB document on planning for patients

News 20 December 2012

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) welcomes Everyone counts: planning for patients 2013/14 . This document sets out how patient-centred improvements will be made in the NHS, through joint-planning between the NHS Commissioning Board, Clinical Commissioning Groups, Health and Wellbeing Boards and other related agencies.

In particular, the RCOG agrees with the concept of offering a seven-day service on the NHS, subject to satisfactory workforce availability, since this provides women with better access to routine care on the weekends and should improve clinical outcomes. In urgent cases such as a suspected ruptured ectopic pregnancy, quick access to diagnostics and emergency treatment can help prevent serious complications and death.

RCOG President Dr Tony Falconer said, “The RCOG fully supports this patient-focussed document. It will improve services and ensure that high quality care is available round-the-clock, instead of only at certain times of the day during the working week.

“The RCOG also believes that a robust system to collect and analyse patient data on the NHS is a crucial tool to help drive up standards of care. We welcome the present strategy to improve on data quality and it is incumbent on all service providers to ensure that the information they gather and submit adheres to the requirements. We are currently working on designing a set of maternity indicators which will fit nicely with this initiative.

“In order for women’s health services to be truly progressive during this time of reform, we must do what we can to enable better provision via the strategic clinical networks, underpinned by the public health approach that links health with social care.”