Life is concerned that six months after a litany of health and safety failures were identified at Marie Stopes International (MSI), the abortion provider was found to be still not up to standard, by the CQC.
Last week, the Care Quality Commission published a follow up report on 12 abortion clinics run by MSI following their suspension and reopening last year.
The CQC noted that six months after its investigation last summer, MSI still had no effective assurance system in place to measure that accurate and appropriate completion of the checklist, at each phase of the surgical procedure, was embedded into practice. Revised infection prevention and control audits were still not introduced at the time. In fact, it noted that there was no evidence of increased audit at locations where the provider knew there were issues with infection prevention and control.
The CQC also found that there was no effective system in place for assurance that all equipment, including equipment at early medical abortion units, had been serviced and maintained. It also asked MSI to ensure that all nursing staff are competent in their roles to ensure the safety of patients using the service. CQC pointed out that there continued to be variance across MSI locations regarding incident reporting.
Reacting to the follow up report, Life Spokeswoman, Clara Watson said: “Yet another disturbing report about MSI. Despite warnings and a public outcry, six months later, they still did not have their house in order where the health and safety of patients are concerned. The issues highlighted by the CQC relating to infection control, staff competence and proper procedures in surgical situations are very serious and can place the health and safety of women at risk.
It is not good enough for MSI to keep receiving repeated warnings without any firm enforcement action to make it comply with regulations to ensure the health and safety of patients. Last year we received an assurance from the Department of Health that it was monitoring the situation at MSI closely. A new report on MSI has just landed. We look forward to action from the DOH which has a responsibility to ensure that patients are protected even when it comes to independent abortion clinics.”