London, 23 March 2012: We can confirm that our nine main sexual reproductive health centres and 10 smaller units were visited by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) this week, as were all other NHS and independent providers in the UK – over 250 facilities in total.
We are awaiting the CQC’s full report but to the best of our knowledge, all of our centres have been found to be working within the law. We are confident in our assurance framework and governance structure, which we have in place to safeguard all clients and ensure we provide the best possible service. Should we be advised of any irregularities, we will take immediate steps to address these.
We believe the investigations were in response to concerns regarding the compliance of some abortion providers with the Abortion Act, and poor documentation.
Whilst this has been a resource intensive few days for the CQC, we fully support the desire of the Department of Health and others to ensure that women seeking termination of pregnancy from any provider – including the NHS – receive care which is appropriate and falls with the legal framework.
The CQC were checking all clinical and management procedures, including whether abortion providers are acting within the legal framework set out by the 1967 Abortion Act. Their particular focus was the correct completion of HSA1 forms, which specify the grounds under which the procedure took place, and carry the two doctor signatures required to authorise it.
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