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Developing patient information leaflets

The development process for our patient information leaflets

Patient information development process

Initial draft

The RCOG’s Patient Information Committee is made up of obstetricians and gynaecologists, midwives and members of the RCOG Women’s Network.

The committee takes key information from clinical guidance on a particular topic, and develops a first draft information leaflet based on this. Members of the committee are tasked with writing this in a way that is understandable to people who do not have a medical background.

Public and peer feedback stage

The committee test the information before it is published by asking both the public and healthcare professionals for comments on the draft.

Public consultation

Anyone who wishes to review the information can do so through a simple online questionnaire. This asks questions around whether the language and style is right and whether the leaflet covers the areas that are most important to women.

We particularly request comments from:

  • The RCOG Women’s Network and Women’s Voices Involvement Panel
  • A range of relevant organisations and support groups, and individuals they support
  • A selection of NHS trusts who distribute paper copies of the draft leaflet and survey to individuals using maternity and gynaecology services.

Peer consultation

Anyone who wishes to give more detailed feedback can do so via a peer review template. We particularly request comments from:

  • Individuals involved in developing the clinical guidance on which the draft information is based
  • Clinicians with a particular interest and expertise in the subject matter
  • Organisations and support groups relevant to the topic of the information being developed.

You can read draft leaflets currently being tested, and complete their public questionnaires and peer review templates.

Final draft and publication

All comments submitted during the public and peer review process are considered in detail by the committee, and decisions are made around if and how to change the information based on these comments. The committee refer to the original guidance to check for accuracy and discuss whether suggestions made fall within the scope of the information being produced.

A final draft is then produced and this is approved by the College’s Clinical Quality Board before being published.

Keeping information up-to-date

All patient information leaflets are reviewed every three years, or before that time if clinical guidance on which they are based changes. The information will then be passed through the development process again.

The process for developing RCOG patient information is accredited by the NHS Information Standard to ensure it is clear, accurate, evidence-based, up-to-date and easy to use.

See patient information leaflets currently at the public feedback stage.