Life welcomes the announcement by Under Secretary of State for Health Nicola Blackwood that independent abortion providers will be subject to performance ratings.
At the moment only NHS abortion services are rated. They are assessed on whether the service is safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led and can receive ratings in each of these categories as outstanding, good, requiring improvement or inadequate.
Ms Blackwood, responding to a question from Fiona Bruce, MP in the House of Commons last Thursday, said that following a consultation in August last year, it is the intention of the government to bring forward legislation for private abortion services to be rated.
Life Spokeswoman Clare Plasom-Scott said “Life has already called for private abortion providers to be performance rated in the same way as NHS providers. Why should they fall into a separate and special category? At the moment one has to comb the CQC reports to find out where private abortion clinics are failing. Having ratings against their name will immediately flag up if these providers are failing where health and safety of patients are concerned.
This is especially important given recent health and safety breaches by both Marie Stopes and BPAS, the two largest independent providers of abortion services in this country. Since they claim to have the interest of women at heart, we look forward to them supporting this new and much needed piece of regulation.”