We recently published a paper into the ethical considerations in relation to female genital cosmetic surgery (FGCS), procedures which change the structure and appearance of the healthy external genitalia of women, or internally in the case of vaginal tightening.
We are concerned about the growing number of women opting for cosmetic gynaecological surgery; Hospital Episode Statistics suggest the number of labial reduction procedures has risen five-fold in the NHS over the past 10 years, with over 2000 operations having been performed in 2010. However, many more procedures may be taking place in the private sector.
Our paper was produced by The RCOG Ethics Committee which considers ethical aspects and legal implications of matters of concern affecting the practice of obstetrics and gynaecology. I commend Dame Suzie Leather, the Chair of the Committee, for both her work on the paper and for playing a lead role in its successful launch. Read the rest of this entry »
Dr Jo Mountfield FRCOG, Workplace Behaviours Advisor at the RCOG writes…
It is now more than six months since I undertook the role of Workplace Behaviours Advisor at the RCOG so now seems a fitting time to reflect on progress. What has not been surprising is the commitment to address the issues we face as a specialty and the support from all quarters in the College and its members to make a difference.
This is a subject that raises many emotions in a wide range of people. There are few who have not been subjected to unacceptable behaviour in their careers, however, my perception is that attitudes are shifting and what may have been passed off as “well that’s just the way they are” or “it’s always like that in that department, it’s their high standards” is no longer acceptable. Read the rest of this entry »
RCOG Senior Vice President Dr Paul Fogarty writes …
Last week, the RCOG launched our new Global Health Strategy to improve the life chances of women and babies in under-resourced countries. The launch was held in the House of Lords, co-hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Population, Development and Reproductive Health.
The new five-year strategy (2013-17) was well received by Lords, MPs and colleagues in attendance, with many acknowledging that as the UN Millennium Developments Goals draw to a close, there is still more that needs to be done to improve life chances of mothers and babies worldwide.
Our new strategy will focus on the College’s key strengths in standard-setting, education and training along with an enhanced RCOG Volunteering package. The standards and guidelines that we have developed, along with the quality of our training, have helped transform women’s healthcare in the UK and this strategy is a proactive step towards extending this quality of care around the world. Read the rest of this entry »
RCOG Senior Vice President Professor James Walker writes …
Last week RCOG trainee, Dr Sophia Webster, did her part in helping to raise awareness of the challenges facing maternal health worldwide as she embarked on her Flight For Every Mother journey.
The RCOG, along with the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), are supporting Sophia as she pilots a 4-seat Cessna 182 aeroplane between the UK and South Africa, via 25 African countries, to promote safer pregnancy for women in sub-Saharan Africa.
The journey should take her 15 weeks with regular stops in countries including Tanzania, Kenya, Chad, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Morocco. These stops will allow Sophia to visit local medical and midwifery facilities where she will be able to offer some essential medical equipment and facilitate discussion and teaching sessions on how to manage the major factors contributing to preventable deaths among pregnant women. Read the rest of this entry »
Dr Tony Falconer writes…
Today at our biggest World Congress yet being held in Liverpool, I will speak about the role of ethics in obstetrics and gynaecology and what this means for both us as a profession and for our patients.
As a specialty we deal with many ethical issues on a regular basis such as genetic screening and the boundaries of assisted conception to name a couple. We struggle with these topics but always try and do our best for our patients and their families.
However, we are missing the most fundamental challenge of all – ensuring that our patients receive the best possible care at all times of day or night. Is this not our greatest ethical challenge of all? Read the rest of this entry »
RCOG Vice President Dr David Richmond writes …
Last week the College published its first, in what is to become an annual, report that identifies variations in maternity practice and outcomes across the country. The report, Patterns of Maternity Care in English NHS Hospitals, was undertaken with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and presents a series of indicators that can be used to compare the performance of English maternity units.
This report will form part of the Clinical Indicators Project, which is a programme of work that aims to develop robust performance indicators in obstetrics and gynaecology.
Through this project the College has adopted a strategic aim to develop a repository of clinical maternity data to provide information that can be used to enhance evidence-based practice within the specialty. It is a first in maternity data reporting, with identifying discrepancies and comparing hospital units’ data, and it is one the RCOG is proud to lead on. Read the rest of this entry »