Records of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists relating to Clinical Governance and Standards

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Records relating to the management and administration of the development of guidelines and standards by the RCOG and with external bodies, including papers relating to the work of the RCOG Clinical Audit Unit in Manchester (1997-1999), the establishment and work of the Clinical Effectiveness Support Unit (1998-2001), the establishment and work of the National Collaborating Centre for Women's and Children's Health (2000-2005), and the Office for Research and Clinical Audit (2007-2008), correspondence files of the Director of Clinical Standards (1998-2008), papers relating to the development and appraisal of guidelines and advice (1996-2005), and papers concerning the administration of the National Sentinel Caesarean Section Audit (1998-2002).

This collection of material consists of the following:

RCOG/L1 - Records of the Clinical Effectiveness Support Unit, 1997-2001, including the National Sentinel Caesarean Section Audit and the National Maternity Audit on Antenatal Choice

RCOG/L2 - Records of the National Collaborating Centre for Women's and Children's Health (NCC-WCH), 2000-ongoing

RCOG/L3 - Records of the Office for Research and Clinical Audit, 2007-ongoing, including the project 'Safer Practice in Intrapartum Care'

RCOG/L4 - Guidelines: Peer reviews and comments, 1996-ongoing

RCOG/L5 - Consent Advice: Peer reviews and comments, 2004-ongoing

RCOG/L6 - Clinical Governance Advice: Peer reviews and comments, 2001-ongoing

RCOG/L7 - Clinical Director's correspondence files, 1998-ongoing, including with the National Clinical Assessment Service and the British Society of Urogynaecology, and relating to the Group B Streptococcus Audit.

Administrative / Biographical History

The mission of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is to set standards to improve women's health and the clinical practice of obstetrics and gynaecology both in the UK and across the world. One of the principal means of achieving this aim is through the College's provision of education, training, assessment and professional development.

In March 1999 the Clinical Effectiveness and Standards Board was established by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in recognition of the need for structured development of guidelines. The board was supported by the Clinical Guidelines Department, which was part of the Administration Department: in 2000 this became the Clinical Standards Department. The new department undertook the development of RCOG inspired guidelines and standards; externally funded guidelines remained the responsibility of the Clinical Effectiveness Support Unit, which was established in July 1999 and took over the functions of the RCOG Clinical Audit Unit, based in Manchester. By 2002, the Clinical Governance and Standards Department was an established department of the College.

The National Collaborating Centre for Women's and Children's Health (NCC-WCH) was established as a consortium of partner organisations working in the field of women and children's health, with the RCOG acting as host at the centre. The contract for the National Collaborating Centre was held between the RCOG (as host body) and the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), which gave the consortium its legal identity. The contract between NICE and the College specified a service-level agreement to support the NCC-WCH and its work, between members of the College and the Board of the NCC-WCH.

The Office of Research and Clinical Audit (ORCA) was created in 2007 following a partnership agreement between the RCOG and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The aims of the agreement were to encourage and support rigorous audit in obstetrics and gynaecology; to enhance obstetric and gynaecological audit in the UK over the next decade; to develop and evaluate methods for national as well as local audits; to provide a training environment for clinical and non-clinical research fellows to learn epidemiological and other relevant research skills; and to to contribute to the teaching of clinical audit and relevant health services research methods.

Staff within ORCA were to work closely with colleagues of the Clinical Effectiveness Unit (CEU), which was established in 1998 as an academic collaboration between the Royal College of Surgeons and the Health Services Research Unit of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The Clinical Effectiveness Support Unit (CESU) was established in June 1999 by the RCOG after the Clinical Audit Unit (based in Manchester) was disbanded. After a review, the RCOG re-organised its activities in the areas of audit, guidelines and clinical governance. CESU was set up to take over some of the College's core activities such as the Audit Committee and the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), as well as externally funded projects such as the national evidence-based guidelines. CESU answered directly to the newly formed Clinical Effectiveness and Standards Board (CESB), which oversaw the production of guidelines. The RCOG wished to continue its audit activities, as well as developing its ongoing clinical effectiveness and governance programme.

Arrangement

The natural arrangement of files and series is retained where possible.

Conditions Governing Access

Permission is required from College senior management for external access to College records less than twenty years old: all other records are open by appointment, Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm. Email: archives@rcog.org.uk

Acquisition Information

Internal transfers from the Administration Department, CESU, NCC-WCH, and the Clinical Governance and Standards Department and its predecessors, between 1998 and 2010.

Other Finding Aids

Detailed file level descriptions are available for RCOG/L1, L3, L6 and L7 on request. Email archives@rcog.org.uk

Details of some parts of the collection are available through the AIM25 network: please note that these are not current or updated descriptions and all enquiries should be made to the College Archivist.

Archivist's Note

Record description compiled by Penny Bonning in May 2011.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies are available at the discretion of the College Archivist.

Copyright lies with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and permission to reproduce material should be sought via the College Archivist.

Appraisal Information

Duplicate and routine administrative material is removed where applicable by the College Archivist.

Custodial History

This collection of material originates from the departments controlling the clinical and governance function of the RCOG, bringing together papers relating to the clinical governance function of the College.

Accruals

Additions to this collection are expected on a regular basis according to College record-keeping policies.

Related Material

Archive copies of published guidelines may be found at RCOG/P4, P5 and P13.

Records of related boards and committees may be found at RCOG/B23, Clinical Effectiveness Standards Board, RCOG/B27, Guidelines and Audit Committee, RCOG/B29, Standards Board, and RCOG/B7, Audit Committee.