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Women's Voices newsletter April 2019

Welcome to the latest edition of the newsletter and, as always, a particular welcome to new members of the Involvement Panel.

  1. Foreword by Kate Brian, RCOG Women’s Voices Lead
  2. An update on the new O&G curriculum
  3. Meet the RCOG’s new CEO

Foreword by Kate Brian, RCOG Women’s Voices Lead

Welcome to this edition of the Women’s Voices newsletter and, as always, a particular welcome to new members of the Involvement Panel.

Kate BrianThe year has been a busy one so far with the Women’s Network and Women’s Voices involved across so many RCOG activities, including the College’s International Women’s Day event; a menopause workshop with the Royal College of GPs; and a webinar about pelvic health to name but a few.

We are also really grateful to Women’s Voices who were involved in developing the programme for the Fertility Forum, an evidence-based information day which the College hosted, bringing the public and professionals together.

The Forum covered a huge range of fertility-related topics with talks from leading experts in a non-commercial environment.

As a former IVF patient, I now run a local fertility group and see first-hand how difficult it can be to navigate your way through the minefield of available information. It often feels completely overwhelming when you are trying to work out what might really make a difference to your chances of a successful outcome.

We hope the Forum provided an alternative space to gain balanced and accurate information with no sales and no promotions.

Videos of many of the talks on the day will be available on the Fertility information pages on the College website for all to access. These new pages also link to resources and reliable information about many aspects of fertility.

The RCOG’s information hub on menopause has been such a success, and we hope this hub on fertility will be as helpful.

The College is truly committed to ensuring women and their families can access accurate health information so it is great to have this new co-produced resource.

Thank you all so much for your involvement in RCOG activities and for all that you do in your own communities to advocate for improvements in women’s healthcare.

Working together, we are having a real impact for women now and in the future.

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An update on the new O&G curriculum

Over the last 2 years, many Women’s Voices have helped to shape the new 7-year training framework for doctors wanting to become O&G consultants.

Our Specialists of Tomorrow Public Insight Group and wider public consultation has helped to gather insight to inform the new draft, which has now been submitted to the General Medical Council.

Alastair Campbell, a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist in Edinburgh, who is leading this work says:

"I wanted to update Women’s Voices on where things are with the new curriculum as so many of you have been engaged and given so much insight.

"Following last summer’s consultation with the Specialists of Tomorrow group, the wider public, O&G doctors and other stakeholders, all comments were thoroughly considered and informed a further draft.

"This definitive curriculum document was then submitted to the General Medical Council in January and we’re now waiting for feedback and hopefully approval at some point in the near future.

"We’re really confident that the new framework will support the learning and development of trainee O&G doctors to become top class specialists.

"Consultants who not only have the medical knowledge and technical skills they need to provide great care, but also very importantly the communication skills and  ability to develop productive partnerships with their patients, ensuring they are at the centre of their care at all times, and informed and empowered to make decisions about their health.

"We will let you know as things move forward this year. It’s been a long journey so far but the end is in sight. Thank you again for your commitment to this work."

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Meet the RCOG’s new CEO

Kate Lancaster has recently joined the College as Chief Executive Officer.

Kate LancasterA note from Kate to Women's Voices:

"I am honoured to be appointed to the role of Chief Executive of the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists, such an important and influential organisation at such an exciting time in the history of the College.

"I am already enormously impressed with the breadth and depth of work happening across the College to champion our agenda to improve the health of girls, women and their families. And I am very excited about what the future holds, as we seize the huge opportunities afforded by an increasing focus on a centralised approach to women’s health, new curriculum and our move to Union Street at the end of the year. There is so much for us to capitalise on in the very near future, not least World Congress in London in June and the many opportunities afforded by our 90th anniversary year.

"Central to our success in delivering this is making sure that women’s voices and personal experiences are at the very heart of our strategy for the future. That women’s voices run through everything we do – our communications, our research, our advocacy, our focus on clinical quality and education, our partnerships.

"Women represent 51% of the UK population and 44% of the workforce. Quite simply, women are absolutely central to our nation’s health. Our reach and impact goes far beyond ourselves, be it as care-givers, as community members, as employers and employees.

"There is lots of excellent work happening across the College, through the Women’s Voices Involvement Panel, Women’s Network and our many networks and partnerships and I very much look forward to what we can deliver, together for girls, women and their families to transform many areas of health and healthcare."


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