FSRH statement: FSRH supports NICE Abortion care quality standard

Posted 28 January 2021

Date: 28 Jan 2021

Type: FSRH Press Releases and Statements

The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) welcomes the publication of the quality standard for abortion care by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). We formally support this quality standard, in recognition of its potential benefit in improving abortion care. We urge providers and commissioners to have regard for this new quality standard, using it to drive quality improvement in abortion services.

This quality standard covers care for girls and women who request an abortion. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement, and provides guidance for service providers, health and social care practitioners, and commissioners.

Dr Tracey Masters, Abortion Care lead at the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH), said:

“The new quality standard for abortion care is a welcome step forward to ensure that women have access to safe, consistent and high-quality abortion care, which is an essential part of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare.

“We are pleased to see that the quality standard presents recommendations which we have previously called for, including support for women in choosing their preferred method of abortion and giving women having a medical abortion up to and including 9+6 weeks' gestation the option to take misoprostol at home.

“The recommendation for providers to offer women with an initial appointment within one week of their request for an abortion, and to offer the procedure within one week of the appointment will help improving waiting times, which is of essence for this type of care.

“Another recommendation we have fully supported throughout the development of this quality standard is for commissioners and providers to ensure the full range of contraceptive options is available for women in abortion care clinics, and that service providers ensure healthcare professionals have the knowledge and skills to provide them.

“We urge providers and commissioners to have regard for this new quality standard, using it to plan and commission comprehensive services as well as to drive quality improvement in abortion services.”



Notes to editors:

  • The guidance is available here.
  • In November 2017, the FSRH Council voted unanimously to pass a new position statement calling for the decriminalisation of abortion care in the UK. This has been informed by the results of a consultation with the FSRH membership in October 2017 and has been reached following in depth discussions. It can be read here.
  • The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) is the largest UK professional membership organisation working at the heart of sexual and reproductive health (SRH), supporting healthcare professionals to deliver high quality care. It works with its 15,000 members, to shape sexual reproductive health for all. It produces evidence-based clinical guidance, standards, training, qualifications and research into SRH. It also delivers conferences and publishes the journal BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health in partnership with the BMJ.

For further information please contact:
Camila Azevedo
FSRH External Affairs & Standards Manager
Email: cazevedo@fsrh.org
Telephone: 02037945309