Multiple failings uncovered at Norwich abortion centre

The NHS Home Ward in Norwich is administered from the Community Hospital in Bowthorpe.

The NHS Home Ward in Norwich is administered from the Community Hospital in Bowthorpe.

A number of failings at a Norwich abortion centre have been revealed by a health watchdog.

Marie Stopes International, which runs centres across England, has been criticised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after unannounced inspections were carried out earlier this year.

Such were the problems at the charity's Norwich centre that the CQC's findings prompted Marie Stopes to stop carrying out abortions there for nearly two months while the problems were addressed.

At the time, the CQC did not say why abortions at the clinic should be halted, but its new report today reveals the scale of the issues inspectors found.

Among the CQC's findings at the Norwich centre were:

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Multiple surgical termination products were left in a bin next to operating theatres for the whole day, increasing infection risks.

Clinicians were 'bulk signing' up to 60 consent forms at a time, with little indication they were familiar with the patient's situation.

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Only 40pc of the centre's staff had received consent training.

The CQC's inspectors also reported staff working long hours and that the centre had been led by six different managers in the last three years.

The CQC has asked Marie Stopes to send a report showing how they are making a number of improvements to the site, particularly on reducing the risks of infection.

The centre is at Norwich Comm-unity Hospital, on Bowthorpe Road.

Suzanne Ash, interim managing director at Marie Stopes UK, said: 'Since the inspections we've made considerable changes to our management, governance and assurance processes, including extensive training of staff and updating of policies.

'We have learned from this, and intend to continue our focus on providing the safe and compassionate care that women expect and deserve.'

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