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Hereford County Hospital broke law with abortions sign offs
HEREFORD County Hospital’s abortion clinic has been named as one of 14 in the UK that broke the law by allowing doctors to pre-sign off an abortion before meeting the women concerned.
Spot-checks by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – the independent regulator of health and social care in England – ordered by health secretary Andrew Lansley found 14 NHS trusts including the Wye Valley NHS Trust were non-compliant with the Abortion Act 1967.
This requires that a form is signed by two doctors before the abortion is carried out certifying that the requirements for a termination have been met.
The CQC found no evidence that women received poor care at any of the hospitals during their check over two weeks in March, but the hospitals had failed to meet terms of the commission’s essential standards.
In a statement, Wye Valley NHS Trust, said: “We were very disappointed to be told our paper records were not compliant with the act. This was because some of the forms contained one pre-signed signature.
“The trust took immediate action to rectify this and is now in complete compliance with the act.
“We have introduced monthly audits of the service and are committed to ensuring we continue to meet CQC registration requirements.”
The matter has now been referred to the police and the General Medical Council, who will decide what action to take against those involved.