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CQC satisfied that serious concerns responded to as Marie Stopes International begins to resume specific terminations across England
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is satisfied that Marie Stopes International has responded to the serious patient safety concerns it raised with the provider, following inspections of its clinics, call-centre and corporate headquarters for England.
Following a series of inspections, the regulator raised concerns about the provider’s corporate and clinical governance arrangements and patient safety protocols, in areas including patient consent, safeguarding and staff training.
In August, CQC required Marie Stopes International to take immediate action to address these specific concerns. In response, Marie Stopes International:
- Suspended all termination of pregnancies for under-18s and vulnerable groups of women
- Suspended all surgical terminations under general anaesthetic or conscious sedation
- Suspended all surgical terminations at its Norwich centre.
At the time, NHS England activated ‘contingency arrangements’ to ensure that all patients seeking the services that had been suspended could receive safe and high-quality care. This included diverting around 250 patients a week to alternative providers and setting up a helpline for anyone with any questions or concerns.
Since August, CQC has been monitoring Marie Stopes International very closely and reviewing its progress.
Having demonstrated to CQC that it has addressed the most serious areas of concern, including staff training in the key areas identified, Marie Stopes International has begun to lift the restrictions it placed on its termination services with the intention to resume its full services across its clinics by the end of October.
CQC is continuing to review Marie Stopes International’s progress and it will not hesitate to take further action to protect patients, if necessary.
Professor Edward Baker, deputy chief inspector of hospitals at the Care Quality Commission, said: "Given the concerns we identified on our inspections earlier this year, Marie Stopes International’s decision to suspend the specified termination services was the right one. Having kept in close contact with the leadership of Marie Stopes International since then, I am glad that they have accepted the severity of these concerns and have taken appropriate action to address them.
"As the regulator, our priority has been and continues to be to ensure that patients receive safe, high-quality and compassionate care. We will continue to monitor Marie Stopes International closely as its termination services resume."
CQC aims to publish the full reports from its inspections later this year. Until then, the regulatory process prevents CQC from disclosing further details about its findings.
Notes to editors
- CQC inspected the majority of Marie Stopes International’s registered locations in England during a series of inspections, as part of CQC’s planned inspection programme. The inspections identified a number of concerns. As a result, CQC carried out an unannounced inspection of Marie Stopes International’s corporate headquarters for England and of its call centre. CQC has a duty to ensure that its information and judgements about providers are accurate. The inspection reports are still undergoing their checks to guarantee this. Detailed reports will be published in due course and will be made available on our website. CQC is therefore unable to disclose further details at this stage; however, these will be included in full in the reports, which CQC expects to publish later in the year.
- CQC has been inspecting all independent providers of stand-alone termination of pregnancy services as part of its wider inspection programme of independent healthcare services in England. Read our news story about the roll out of these inspections for further information.
- Last updated:
- 29 May 2017