Damning health watchdog report exposes hypocrisy of NI Secretary of State
Precious Life has condemned an abortion organisation in England for its horrific treatment of vulnerable women and exposing them to harm. The baby-killing organisation – BPAS (British Pregnancy Advisory Service) – is supported by NI Secretary of State Brandon Lewis, to whom he said he was “extremely grateful.”
A report by health watchdog, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), exposed serious concerns around consent and women’s safety at BPAS abortion centres. The CQC is an independent regulator of all health and social care services in England.
Last month, in a parliamentary answer to a question from pro-abortion Alliance Party MP Stephen Farry, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis said, “I am extremely grateful to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service…” for providing abortion to women and girls from Northern Ireland.
BPAS take abortion bookings for women and girls in Northern Ireland on behalf of the Northern Trust, Belfast Trust, South Eastern Trust, and Southern Trust.
BPAS abortion consultations were also booked in Northern Ireland through Informing Choices NI (formerly FPA) in Shaftesbury Square, Belfast; and Waterloo Place in Derry. Informing Choices NI is supported by SDLP, Sinn Fein, Alliance Party, and other pro-abortion political parties.
Girls under 18 booked BPAS abortion consultations through "Common Youth" (formerly Brook Advisory) in Waring Street, Belfast, and Abbey Street in Coleraine
BPAS exploit vulnerable girls and women by charging them up to £1510 to kill their babies. However, BPAS has now been served with enforcement notices after the CQC gave them "inadequate" overall ratings, including for safety.
Three of BPAS’ killing centres have been exposed by the CQC. Horrific findings of their report included:
- - women rushed to hospital in emergencies due to complications from abortion
- - girls under the age of 16 were being assessed as adults
- - women were not given adequate information to make an “informed choice” about their abortion
- - no evidence of a women with a learning disability having the capacity to provide informed consent
- - no notification to authorities of a woman suffering post-traumatic stress following a history of sexual abuse as a child, because she was now over 18
- - abortion pills were unlicensed and not stored at correct temperature
- - pills issued to women for home abortions were not correctly labelled
- - women who had taken the abortion pill at home were asked to make their own arrangements and travel up to 140 miles by car and four hours by train to another abortion centre - putting them at risk of bleeding or expelling their dead baby during the journey.
The CQC swooped on the abortion centres with unannounced inspections in August. Their report stated, "...We took this urgent action as we believed a person would or may be exposed to the risk of harm if we had not done so …If the requirements of the enforcement notices are not met within six months, the abortion clinics could have their registrations cancelled."
Director of Precious Life Bernadette Smyth said, “This shocking and horrific report exposes the hypocrisy of Brandon Lewis and other politicians in Northern Ireland who claim to care about women – yet remain silent and still support abortion organisations that treat women with utter contempt and expose them to danger and death."
She concluded, “We welcome the strong enforcement action taken by the CQC, but urge them to protect women now by shutting down BPAS immediately!”
Detailed key findings of the Care Quality Commission report were:
In Doncaster, 12 patients were transferred to the local NHS acute trust due to complications between December 2020 to May 2021.
In Merseyside, Between July 2020 and June 2021, the service transferred six patients in an emergency due to complications or the patient becoming unwell.
In Middlesbrough, five service users had to travel to another BPAS location in the North West at short notice for a surgical termination of pregnancy
“Patients were at risk of harm as the service did not have a standard operating procedure regarding safe movement of patients to different BPAS locations in the event of service disruption.” (Doncaster report)
“The service did not have a specific paediatric early warning score (PEWS) for use with appropriate children undergoing surgical terminations of pregnancy. This meant that any patients under the age of 16 were being assessed as adults.” (Doncaster report)
“We saw data which evidenced 10 patients treated during COVID-19 for surgical termination of pregnancy (STOP) had not had pre-assessment scans impacting on incorrect gestation.” (Doncaster report)
“Staff did not always identify nor quickly act upon patients at risk of deterioration following a surgical procedure.” (Merseyside report)
“The service did not always store medicines at safe temperatures and medicines issued for patients to take home were not correctly labelled.” (Middlesbrough report)
“An incident occurred where the care of five women undergoing surgical abortion was not managed safely. The women were asked to make their own arrangements and travel to another BPAS clinic in the North West within 24 hours of expecting to have their treatment at BPAS Middlesbrough (we saw women travel up to 140 miles by car and four hours by train). The women took preparatory mifepristone at home before travelling to another BPAS location in the North West, putting them at risk of bleeding or aborting their pregnancy during the journey.” (Middlesbrough report)
Safeguarding and consent
“Staff did not consistently support patients to make informed decisions about their care and treatment. They did not follow national guidance to gain patient’s consent. They did not always show awareness of how to support patients who lacked capacity to make their own decisions or were experiencing mental ill health. We saw one example where a patient’s records identified a learning disability, however there was no documented evidence of a mental capacity or best interest assessment being undertaken. This meant there was no evidence the patient had the capacity to provide informed consent.” (Doncaster report)
“Staff did not consistently identify adults and children at risk of, or suffering, significant harm. We saw one patient where the safeguarding summary in their record stated they had post-traumatic stress following a history of sexual abuse which had not been reported to authorities. This was reviewed with the central safeguarding team who advised there was no statutory requirement to notify as the patient was now over 18.” (Merseyside report)
“Staff did not consistently support patients to make informed decisions about their care and treatment. They did not follow national guidance to gain patients' consent. They did not always show awareness of how to support patients who lacked capacity to make their own decisions or were experiencing mental ill health. Staff did not always gain consent from patients for their care and treatment in line with legislation and guidance. Though staff recorded consent in the patients’ records this was not always clear nor in line with the treatment carried out. We also saw occasions where patients did not receive the procedure they consented for and the change was not documented or the reasons for doing so. One patient signed consent for vacuum aspiration under general anaesthetic, the procedure carried out was dilatation and evacuation as recorded in surgery notes, theatre register, discharge letter and HSA4 form.” (Merseyside report)
“In another patient record we saw the patient had reported to the provider she was unhappy with her teleconsultation and felt she was not given enough information on her options for treatment between general anaesthetic and conscious sedation or location of procedure to make an informed choice.” (Merseyside report)
“We saw an example where patient records identified a learning disability, however there was no documented evidence of a mental capacity or best interest assessment being carried out. This meant there was no evidence the patient had the capacity to provide informed consent. Managers told us there was only one member of staff who could carry out a capacity assessment and they did not attend the clinic every day it was open and were not there during our inspection.” (Merseyside report)
“The way some medicines were prescribed for medical abortion was ‘off label’ or unlicensed. There was no evidence in the notes we reviewed that this had been discussed with women to take account of their preferences and allow them to make informed decisions about their treatment.” (Doncaster and Merseyside reports) Source: SPUC