The RCOG has recently established the Tomorrow’s Specialist Working Party to listen to and act on your views - chaired by Baroness Julia Cumberlege and Sir Cyril Chantler.
The aim of the working party is to define the changing role of Tomorrow’s Specialist - within a team, which focuses on High Quality Women’s Health Care, through innovative and rewarding ways of working, embracing training, lifelong learning and professional challenge. Find out more: http://www.rcog.org.uk/womens-health/consultation-documents
An original report last year High Quality Women’s Health Care: A proposal for change, was undertaken by the RCOG’s Expert Advisory Group chaired by Dame Joan Higgins. It looked at how NHS women’s health services could be configured to provide high quality, safe and timely care. It concluded that against a backdrop of NHS reform, financial and workforce pressures, increasing complexity of women’s health care, the current structures cannot be sustained.
The report’s key recommendations included:
- Services should be provided in managed clinical networks which link primary, community, secondary and tertiary services
- A life-course approach to women’s healthcare should be adopted utilising every interaction a woman has with the health service, irrespective of age, to promote health and lifestyle rather than the constant firefight against disease and ill health
- The variation in health service provision needs resolving by universally adopting clinical standards, guidelines and mandating the reporting of outcomes
- Pressures on the workforce due to the Working Time Regulation and trainee numbers will need different service configuration and will lead to a reduction in the number of medically staffed units to ensure a safe service
- A national clinical director in women’s health should be appointed to lead on the quality agenda and ensure that service configuration, workforce and commissioning issues are championed in women’s health care