Records of the RCOG Audit Committee and predecessors

Scope and Content

Records of the RCOG Audit Committee and its predecessors and sub-committees - the Statistics and Epidemiology Committee, the Perinatal Definitions Working Party, the Information and Computing Sub-Committee, and the RCOG Audit Unit in Manchester, including committee correspondence, minutes and papers (1961-1999), records relating to the Standard Maternity Information System and the National Perinatal Pathology Survey (1980-1986), discussion of perinatal statistics (1968-1980), the NHS and computerisation (1981-1987), the Maternity Data-sets Sub-group (1996-1998), including discussion on the use of caesarean section for pre-term breech deliveries, late abortion and minimally invasive surgical techniques for the treatment of metrorrhagia, and working group reports on standards in gynaecology, obstetrics and maternity care (1995).

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1947 a Standard Maternity Hospital Report Committee was set up by the College to encourage maternity hospitals and departments to publish annual medical reports in order to maintain a high standard of practice. In 1948 it published a standard form for them to adopt in order that comparisons might be made over time. This was widely adopted in the UK and Commonwealth and revised in the 1950s and 1960s.

In 1973 the Committee changed its name to the Obstetrical and Gynaecological Statistics Committee, and in 1977 to the Statistics and Epidemiology Committee. In 1978 the Committee became a sub-committee of the Scientific Advisory and Pathology Committee. It reverted to a full committee in 1983. During these years the Committee took an active role in the advent of computerisation in relation to the collection and analysis of maternity data and also in disease definition, classification and coding systems. After the collection and analysis of data from Fellows and Members of the College about laparoscopy in 1978, other statistical studies on particular topics followed.

In 1990 the Committee was renamed the Audit Committee as it was envisaged that audit was likely to be an increasingly large component of its work. An Audit Unit, funded by the Department of Health and based at St Mary's Hospital in Manchester, was established in 1991 under the supervision of the Audit Committee.

In 1999, despite the fact that some members felt that their original remit with regard to statistics and epidemiology would be sacrificed, both the Committee and Unit were wound up and their responsibilities transferred to the Guidelines and Audit Sub-committee and Clinical Effectiveness Support Unit.

Conditions Governing Access

Permission is required from College senior management for external access to College records less than twenty years old.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright of the RCOG. Reproductions are available at the discretion of the College Archivist.

Custodial History

Early transfers of records of the Committee and its predecessors are undocumented. From 1998-1999 the Committee's records were transferred at regular intervals by the Committee secretary.

Related Material

Related collections within the RCOG Archive include the following references:

RCOG/A4/25/21 - President's correspondence relating to the Audit Committee (1990-1993)

RCOG/A7/7/1 - Honorary Secretary's papers relating to the Audit Committee (1993-1995)

RCOG/L - records of the RCOG Clinical Governance and Standards Department