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Report reveals Musgrove Park Hospital's abortion procedure failures
MUSGROVE Park Hospital in Taunton has broken critical abortion rules by allowing forms authorising a termination to be pre-signed, an inspection has found.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out the inspection focusing on the use of the HSA1 form - a document required for a termination to take place under the Abortion Act 1967.
A report issued today (July 12) showed that Musgrove was one of 14 clinics across England that has been breaking regulations. All are now complying.
The Abortion Act requires that two doctors must sign the HSA1 form before a termination takes place.
However at Musgrove, a hospital which specialises in termination of pregnancies, forms were only being pre-signed by only one doctor.
This is in breach of the Abortion Act, and allows the second doctor to take a solo decision to allow a termination, the CQC said.
But officials at the hospital said they had "learned lessons" since the March inspection.
A spokesman said: "The review notes ‘moderate concerns’ relating to the use of documents ‘HSA1 certificates’ that had been pre-signed by one of two doctors certifying compliance with termination of pregnancy legislation; but the Hospital has already learned lessons and has resolved the issue.
"Immediately following the inspection, the Hospital suspended the service and conducted its own, extensive investigations. These investigations found that pre-signed HSA1 certificates had not at any time compromised the safety of the care delivered to patients.
"The termination of pregnancy service was resumed only when the Hospital had confidence it was fully compliant with the CQC standards.
"Actions taken by the Hospital have ensured that relevant documentation is completed at the appropriate times and weekly review meetings are now carried out so that no further issues arise."
The CQC is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.