Records of the National Collaborating Centre for Women's and Children's Health (NCC-WCH)

Scope and Content

Records of the National Collaborating Centre for Women's and Children's Health, covering its establishment and funding, and governance and administration, and including working files and meeting papers of guideline development groups, research papers, signed agreements, and workplans.

Administrative / Biographical History

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 Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists acting as host of 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 NCC-WCH.

The new National Collaborating Centre was based in the RCOG under the directorship of Jane Thomas. Work commenced in April 2001 and Professor Templeton was appointed chair of the NCC Board in September 2001. The Vice-Chair of the Board was Professor Rona McCandlish.

The NCC-WCH team included epidemiologists, clinicians and medical informatics specialists and two health economists based at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The NCC-WCH expanded in 2003, when a Deputy Director, Dr Moira Mugglestone was appointed, along with an additional Research Fellow.

On 1st April 2005, the functions of the Health Development Agency (HDA) were transferred to NICE, which thus became the new National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, also called NICE. Firstly six (and eventually seven), professionally led National Collaborating Centres, including the NCC-WCH, were funded by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence to harness the expertise of the Royal Medical Colleges, professional bodies and patient/carer organisations in order to develop the clinical guidelines commissioned by the Department of Health for England and the Welsh Assembly Government.

A further collaboration agreement between NICE and the RCOG was signed in April 2005. The summary of the contract and service provision at that time stated that, on 1st April each year, following on from 2007 until 2012, the Agreement should be extended for a twelve-month period, so that the Agreement might remain in force for a series of 1-year periods, to be terminated on 31st March 2013.

The objective of the agreement was to benefit users of NHS services by enhancing effective clinical practice. NICE was to fulfil this intention by agreeing to fund the Contractor (RCOG) to facilitate the performance of services. The Consortium Members were defined as members of a Consortium established to work with the Contractor in its provision or facilitation of services, but that nothing in the agreement was to create or constitute the status of a partnership between the Contractor (RCOG) and the other Consortium Members.

The main aim of the NCC-WCH was to develop clinical and cost effective guidelines for the health of women and children. After expansion from the initial medical Colleges, the partners involved in the consortium were as follows:

Action for Sick Children

British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH)

Faculty of Family Planning and Reproductive Healthcare (FFPRHC)

National Childbirth Trust (NCT)

National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit

Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU), University of Kent

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG)

Royal College of Midwives (RCM)

Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH)

A multidisciplinary board of representatives from professional, academic and patient/carer organisations concerned with women and children’s health was set up to govern the NCC-WCH. Consortium members from the RCOG, the RCPCH, the FFPHRC, the RCM and BASSH were represented on the board, along with other partner members from the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, Action for Sick Children, The National Childbirth Trust (NCT), PSSRU and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

Conditions Governing Access

Permission is required from NCC-WCH senior management for access to files less than twenty years old.