The world feels very different today than it did only a few weeks ago.
We are in the midst of a global pandemic and the world is turned on its head. The emergency facing us is becoming increasingly uncertain and more and more countries around the world face restrictions and national lockdowns.
Marie Stopes UK is part of the Marie Stopes International partnership – a global organisation with a common mission: many of our programmes and team members around the world have been affected by the crisis and are working hard to ensure they can keep delivering for the women and girls who need them, while keeping our clients and team members safe.
A story from the UK frontline: “the organisation sprang into action”
As soon as the UK went into lockdown on March 23rd, Marie Stopes UK began advocating passionately for the introduction of telemedicine to ensure that women could continue to access the timely, safe and high-quality abortion care they need.
Telemedicine, which involves the use of information and communication technology to provide healthcare remotely, is widely recommended as best practice to improve access to abortion care. But during COVID-19 when social distancing is so important and patients are fearful of attending clinics, hospitals or GPs, it is even more essential, particularly for those in vulnerable groups or who may face coercion from abusive partners to continue an unwanted pregnancy. So, the team were overjoyed when on March 30th, confirmation was received from the government that women seeking an early medical abortion could take both sets of abortion pills at home.
The organisation sprang into action and in less than a week, Marie Stopes UK’s telemedicine service was up and running, enabling eligible clients to have a phone consultation, all the necessary safeguarding checks and take both sets of abortion pills at home, without attending a clinic. For clients who are not eligible, or for those who prefer a personal face-to-face appointment, Marie Stopes UK’s network of clinics have also remained open throughout the crisis.
In the first week, the team received was a 10% increase in calls and since then, demand has shown no sign of abating. This could reflect the additional caseload the team is taking on from NHS trusts, who have suspended their work to focus on COVID-19, as well as the fact that most Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are now allowing women to select the provider with the shortest waiting times.
Yet despite the speed of the changes and increased demand, Marie Stopes UK continues to deliver its compassionate, high-quality services in line with, if not quicker than, national guidance that women should be able to access treatment within 10 days.
At Home Abortion Pills: a new service
With the new telemedecine service available, all egilible clients will be able to take both pills for medical abortion up to 10 weeks in their own homes, without attending a clinic.
This means that if you meet safety criteria to allow for medical abortion without a scan, the abortion medications can either be collected by you from a centre or posted to your home address after your consultation.
Follow the link to know more about at home abortion pills.
Get in touch to know more
You can always contact us if you have any doubt or would like to ask any questions:
- England, Scotland and Wales: 03453008090
- Northern Ireland: 03332342184
- Republic of Ireland: 1800849091
- International: +44(0)1454457542
You can also use facebook messenger to contact us via social media: Marie Stopes UK facebook page.
Our international work
Read more stories from the frontline: how our colleagues from Marie Stopes International are are working hard to ensure they can keep delivering for the women and girls who need them, while keeping our clients and team members safe.