HL Deb 13 March 2003 vol 645 cc201-2WA
Lord Alton of Liverpool

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How frequently abortion clinics are subject to inspection by the National Care Standards Commission; and [HL2030]

What mechanisms are in place to ensure that abortion clinics act upon recommendations contained in inspection reports from the National Care Standards Commission. [HL2031]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

All independent sector places approved by the Secretary of State for Health to perform termination of pregnancy under Section 1(3) of the Abortion Act 1967, as amended, are registered with the National Care Standards Commission (NCSC) as independent hospitals under the Care Standards Act 2000. These places are inspected a minimum of once a year by the NCSC, on behalf of the Secretary of State.

Each abortion clinic is inspected against the Private and Voluntary Health Care Regulations and the relevant national minimum standards. If any requirements or recommendations are identified, the clinic is required to implement an action plan. Monitoring and compliance visits will be undertaken by the NCSC to ensure those requirements are met.

Failure to comply with or maintain the standards required by the Secretary of State may result in enforcement action by the NCSC and withdrawal of approval to perform termination of pregnancy.