Three British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) abortion facilities received an “inadequate” report for safety after surprise inspections in August by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The commission warned the abortion facilities that if they have not improved safety for women within six months, they could lose their registration.
According to MSN, the Merseyside abortion business “has been placed into special measures after a damning inspection found a litany of failings had placed women at risk.” The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) reported that Merseyside, as well as facilities in Doncaster and Middlesbrough, had “[s]erious concerns around patient safety and consent.” Those failings included not identifying women at risk of complications after their abortion, not properly logging or investigating serious incidents, and not storing or prescribing medications safely.
“We reviewed MEWS [early warning score system] charts in 10 patient records and in nine out of 10 records these were incorrectly completed,” reads the report of Merseyside. “In five records we found observations had not been fully complete, in two records the totals were incorrect and in two records there was no evidence of escalation of MEWS of five or above as per BPAS guidance.”
“In one patient record we saw MEWS recorded as unresponsive, but the simultaneous nursing note stated, ‘patient is awake.'”
In addition, six patients had not received complete pre-operative assessments and two patients did not have completed surgical safety checklists. The report also stated, “The service told us there had been no serious incidents reported from January to June 2021. However, we saw the service transferred three patients (to hospital) in this period due to complications.”
The reports also found that women were forced to be moved mid-abortion after the procedures had begun but the abortionist was not available. Women were also given procedures to which they did not consent, including at least one woman with learning disabilities whose paperwork showed “no documented evidence of a mental capacity or best interest assessment being undertaken.”
SPUC reported that at the Doncaster location, 12 women were transferred to the local NHS due to complications from their abortions between December 2020 and May 2021. Between July 2020 and June 2021, the Merseyside facility sent six patients to the hospital due to botched abortion emergencies or the patient becoming unwell during the abortion. Patients under the age of 16 were assessed as adults at the Doncaster location, and 10 women at the same location were not properly assessed before their surgical abortions — which caused a failure to properly estimate the preborn child’s gestational age.
“We also saw occasions where patients did not receive the procedure they consented for and the change was not documented or the reasons for doing so,” read the Merseyside report. “One patient signed consent for vacuum aspiration under general anaesthetic, the procedure carried out was dilatation and evacuation as recorded in surgery notes, theatre register, discharge letter and HSA4 form.”
If these facilities are found to have failed to improve at the next surprise inspection, they may have their registration with CQC canceled. That registration stands as the abortion facility’s agreement to follow the standards set by the Abortion Act and the Care Standards Act. Only if it meets those requirements will the facility be given a license to commit abortions. If the registration is removed, the facilities could be shut down. BPAS blamed the COVID-19 pandemic for its inability to keep women safe during their abortions.
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