Written evidence submitted by the Royal College obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RTR0058)


About the College

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) is a professional membership organisation made up of over 16,000 members worldwide. We work to improve the health of women, by setting standards for clinical practice, providing doctors with training and lifelong learning, and advocating for women’s health care.

Workforce challenges

One of the key factors for delivering safety in clinical practice is staffing levels, and yet for the O&G workforce this crucial data is missing. As the Committee knows, the RCOG has received funding from the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) to calculate the number of obstetricians required across England and to create a framework to ensure these numbers remain contemporary as demographic changes occur. 


By the end of 2022 we will have a tool, available to all trusts in England and Wales (Scotland and NI to confirm involvement shortly), that will enable trusts and boards to compare their staffing levels (both obstetric and anaesthetic) with national averages, local context, complexity of caseload and quality indicators. This tool will incorporate data from the midwifery workforce and allow an assessment of the multi-disciplinary team staffing picture.

Alongside this important work, we are preparing our forthcoming 2022 Workforce Report for publication. The report offers a vision of how O&G services should be. Developed in partnership with members of the O&G profession, midwives, women who use services, Health Education England and other key stakeholders, it focuses on five key areas: workforce planning, building learning and supportive environments in O&G, flexible working, remote and rural working, and multi-professional team working. As well as discussing the main concerns within these five areas, the report is filled with real-life case studies of how individuals, teams and organisations have faced problems and worked together to find solutions.

The report is very near to completion and we will be able to share it with the Committee by the end of January. In addition, we would be pleased to discuss the report in more detail as part of this very welcome inquiry into the health and care workforce, should the Committee be interested in finding out more.


January 2022