To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Salisbury of 28 February 2014, Official Report, column 569W, on abortion, what process the Chief Medical Officer follows to detect discrepancies in abortion notifications; and what resources the Chief Medical Officer has for that task.
Departmental officials inspect and record the information received on the HSA4 abortion notification form, carry out validation checks and return forms to practitioners for additional information as necessary. Additionally, selected forms are scrutinised by a departmental medical practitioner who may request further detail from the patients' medical records via the terminating doctor. Information about checks made by the Department is contained in the publication “Department of Health checks made on HSA4 forms for data quality and monitoring the Abortion Act”, a copy of which has been placed in the Library.
During 2013-14, there were five people involved full-time in processing and validating the abortion notification forms sent to the Chief Medical Officer.