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RCOG statement on The Academy of Medical Royal College’s report on consultant presence

News 5 December 2012

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has published the report Seven Day Consultant Present Care. This report calls for the NHS to ensure that appropriate resources and adequate numbers of consultants are provided to enable consultant-led care, seven days a week.

It highlights three standards to deliver this:

  • Hospital inpatients should be reviewed by an on-site consultant at least once every 24 hours, seven days a week, unless it has been determined that this is not necessary for the patient.
  • Consultant-supervised interventions and investigations along with reports should be provided daily if the results will change the outcome or status of the patient’s overall care before the next ‘normal’ working day.
  • Support services both in hospitals and in the primary care community setting should be available daily to ensure that the next steps in the patient’s treatment, as determined by the daily consultant review, can be taken.

Dr Tony Falconer, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) said:

“The report emphasises the urgent need for more consultant presence in our hospitals, particularly at weekends. However, for our specialty, we believe that there is a need for specialist presence continuously, 24 hours a day, in labour wards due to the immediacy of complications of labour.

“In September we published our Working Party report Tomorrow’s Specialist which looked at the future role of the specialist doctor. We called for less reliance on trainees and more consultant presence which requires an expansion of the service and new ways of working for existing doctors. Our report recommended that future specialists should work in teams, providing on-site care 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in hospital and non-hospital settings.

“Although the UK is generally a safe place for women to give birth, pressure on the service is growing as women are having more complex pregnancies because of the rise in older mothers and maternal obesity. Before safety is compromised, significant improvements need to be made to the way services operate and this can be achieved through the model of strategic clinical networks which link all services together.”

Ends

To read the full Academy report please click here.

To read the RCOG Working Party report Tomorrow's Specialist please click here.

For further information, please contact the RCOG Media and PR team on +44 20 7772 6300 or email pressoffice@rcog.org.uk