Health written question – answered on 4th July 2012.

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Photo of Nadine Dorries Nadine Dorries Conservative, Mid Bedfordshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many abortion forms returned to his Department (a) did not have the required two doctors' signatures and (b) were incomplete in each of the last five years for which figures are available.

Photo of Anne Milton Anne Milton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The abortion form (HSA1) which requires the signature of two certifying doctors prior to an abortion, agreeing that there are grounds under the 1967 Abortion Act, is not submitted to the chief medical officer (CMO).

The medical practitioner performing the abortion is required to sign form HSA4 and submit details of the termination to CMO. This includes the names and addresses of the practitioners who provided the certification on form HSA1. The following table shows the total of missing data items on HSA4 forms for the years 2007 to 2011:

  Patient information Certifying and terminating doctor information
2007 105 325
2008 82 461
2009 29 310
2010 27 31
2011 40 449

Departmental officials make every effort to obtain missing data and information. Sometimes this is not possible for a number of reasons including illness, death or suspension of the terminating doctor or the doctor moving abroad.

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