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Doctors broke abortion rules at Wirral hospital, says health watchdog
DOCTORS at Arrowe Park Hospital were found to have broken abortion rules, according to the Care Quality Commission.
The health watchdog discovered that some medical staff had failed to comply fully with the Abortion Act 1967 during an unannounced inspection in March.
Under the Act, a form called HSA1 must be signed by two doctors to confirm that the requirements for a termination have been met before the procedure can take place.
However the CQC reported that forms had been pre-signed by one doctor before the patient had even had their first consultation or assessment.
The findings showed that out of 19 people's records, one form was signed by the second doctor more than two weeks before the consultation, while 10 were pre-dated by at least seven days.
But hospital bosses said they reviewed services and took action "within hours of the inspection."
Acting medical director at Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Dr Evan Moore said: "This Trust takes very seriously its responsibility to the patients we care for and would like to apologise for any concern that this breach of regulation may have caused and give an assurance that there is no evidence of inappropriate procedures having been carried out, or patients being treated incorrectly."
The CQC's visit to Arrowe Park followed worries earlier in the year about pre-signing of abortion forms at a private clinic.
As a result, the Secretary of State for Health ordered the CQC to investigate whether the practice was widespread across the country.
Following the unannounced visits, 14 NHS trusts were found to be in breach of the laws.