HC Deb 27 April 1981 vol 3 cc345-6W
Dr. Roger Thomas

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what percentage of women, region by region, who have a termination of pregnancy carried out (a) have to pay for the operation and (b) have to travel considerable distances from home for the operation.

Sir George Young

The following table shows, by English NHS region, the percentage of terminations of pregnancy carried out in approved non-NHS premises during 1979. The figures somewhat overstate the proportion of women who paid for the operation, since they include terminations paid for by some health authorities under agency arrangements with the private sector for the treatment of NHS patients. The information required in the second part of the question is not available.

Regional health authority (England) Percentage of terminations of pregnancy carried out in non-NHS premises 1979
Northern 13.0
Yorkshire 59.9
Trent 45.1
East Anglia 25.5
North-West Thames 61.4
North-East Thames 55.1
South-East Thames 51.4
South-West Thames 64.3
Wessex 50.1
Oxford 50.2
South-Westem 25.2
West Midlands 79.7
Mersey 75.8
North-Western 59.7

Dr. Roger Thomas

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has considered the possibility of National Health Service regional centres being made available where day care abortions forming the bulk of terminations would be carried out, particularly in the early weeks of pregnancy.

Sir George Young

The 1974 Lane committee on the working of the Abortion Act considered this suggestion but concluded that the best way of improving the provision for abortion was by general improvement of gynaecological services rather than the establishment of separate centres.

Day-care for termination of pregnancy has been commended to health authorities as a means of using resources more effectively.