Life is deeply concerned at a new report from the Care Quality Commission revealing a BPAS abortion clinic placing the health and safety of women at risk
In its report last Thursday the CQC said it investigated BPAS Merseyside after concerns raised by the NHS Trust following 16 serious incidents over three years in which BPAS patients needed to be transferred to the hospital for emergency treatment. Eight of these serious incidents occurred between January 2015 and February 2016. It said when asked to supply the full root cause analysis investigation reports on the incidents, the registered manager was not clear on who had completed the investigation reports, had not been involved in their production and had not seen them in full. She was unaware that staff did not have sight into the outcomes of the serious incident reviews. Staff were unaware of what constituted a major incident and were uninformed of their roles and responsibilities during a major incident.
The CQC report highlighted a number of health and safety breaches at the Merseyside clinic. It said that infection control procedures were not always followed in the operating theatre. Investigators saw intravenous drug syringes left with no cap or needle on the end, presenting a risk of cross infection. The syringes were also filled with two millilitres of air which if administered by mistake could place the patient at risk. Staff were carrying dirty linen not bagged throughout the clinic and theatre staff were leaving and attending the ward on the top floor without changing clothing or placing covers on their shoes to reduce the risk of cross infection. Some of the equipment and items being used had passed their expiry date raising questions about how often the equipment was checked to keep patients safe. It added that there was no effective system in place to ensure that resuscitation equipment was regularly checked to protect patients from avoidable harm and that it was not clear whether several pieces of theatre equipment had been maintenance tested.
The CQC said BPAS staff at the clinic did not recognise the importance of informing patients when things went wrong. However it noted that this Duty of Candour is a regulatory duty that relates to openness and transparency and requires providers to notify patients of safety incident and provide reasonable support to them.
Life Spokeswoman Clara Watson said “Yet again we are confronted with shocking revelations about the callous disregard for health and safety by another member of the abortion industry. BPAS was critical of Marie Stopes International with its chief executive saying she would be called on to resign if those safety failures were found at BPAS. We await the BPAS response to this report about its own safety failures. What is clear is that the two largest independent abortion providers who receive millions of pounds of taxpayer money annually have been found to be placing the health and safety of their patients at risk. In the education sector schools would be closed if there were safety risks to children. Why is an exception being made for the abortion industry when the health and safety of women are at risk? It is the lack of enforcement when laws and regulations are abused that gives the industry free rein to do as it pleases. We call on the government to move beyond words and act now to protect women.”