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Women’s Health service at Waikato Hospital loses training accreditation for junior doctors

Waikato District Health Board have received a report today (30 October 2015) advising that the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) accreditation for core training will be withdrawn as from December 2015, which is the end of the current training year.

This affects training of junior registrars and does not affect advanced trainees.

The standards that were not achieved related to:

  • Training and support given to trainees by consultants (including after-hours supervision)
  • Structured educational programmes and learning opportunities (including teaching opportunities)
  • Provision of core levels of clinical experience – competency and in-house credentialing issues

Our medical specialties are regularly surveyed by their Colleges to ascertain their suitability to provide training posts for junior medical staff. This process accredits the teaching programmes that departments have for their junior doctors and consequently affects their ability to train junior registrars. The results of this process are usually positive in this organisation, with recent surveys of the Emergency Department and the Anaesthetics Department for example showing great results.

Concerns were raised by RANZCOG when they surveyed our Obstetrics & Gynaecology Department in 2013, and again in 2014 about the steps that had been taken toward addressing those problems.

RANZCOG informally expressed satisfaction with progress in February 2015 against the four requirements of the 2014 review that were to be achieved within six months. RANZCOG also recognised that the balance of work required to be achieved by the time of our October resurvey would be a challenge.

Recognising that some of the issues that remained outstanding would require a deeper look at how we provide services, our Women’s Health service began a Transformation Project in August this year to identify ways of improving our obstetric and gynaecological services in a wider sense, including building a culture of excellence, better use of resources, strengthening training, education and research capabilities, and continuing the very good work being done in maternal quality and safety.

Now that we have received the report, we will evaluate it to understand what further work is required and include those tasks along with what we are already doing within the Women’s Health Transformation Project to work towards obtaining re-accreditation.

Loss of accreditation for Women’s Health service does not affect service delivery to Waikato women and babies.

Tom Watson, Chief Medical Officer, Waikato District Health Board

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