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RCOG statement on the report stage of the Health and Social Care Bill

News 7 September 2011

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) will follow the debates about the Health and Social Care Bill during the Report stage with interest. Previously the RCOG made its views known in its briefing on the Government’s response to the Future Forum report. The RCOG’s position on the abortion amendments have also been published.

Elements of competition already exist in the NHS, most notably in Foundation Trusts. The challenge is to ensure that the NHS continues to deliver high quality care during a time of major reform and financial pressure. The RCOG, along with others including the Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, the King’s Fund and NHS Confederation believe that the reorganisation of hospitals is fundamental to ensuring that services remain safe and viable.

Underpinning this reorganisation is the way services are structured. In its report High Quality Women's Health Care, the RCOG recommended that women’s health services are arranged within networks that are overseen by a national clinical lead. These networks would link maternity and gynaecology with other medical specialties so that women have access to the care and services they need throughout their lives.

RCOG President Dr Tony Falconer said “There is no doubt that change is needed in the NHS but change also brings with it uncertainty. We have effectively removed this element of uncertainty for the Government through our proposals to develop women’s health networks and joined-up care.

“Fundamental to the future success of the NHS is reorganisation since this offers better care and ensures that our health service is sustainable. Some ministers and politicians may find the prospect of relocating local services difficult but they must somehow grasp the nettle to ensure the long-term survival of an already stretched NHS.”