How to choose an abortion provider that puts your choices front and centre
To help you choose a provider of abortion services, the following checklist of what to look for might be helpful.
1. Ask about waiting times
Absolutely key is how long you must wait for an appointment. The “Abortion Care Quality Standards” by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) state that people should expect to have a consultation and treatment within 10 days. When you call the service provider, make sure you check how long you will have to wait for your first appointment or consultation. If it is more than five days, ask if an alternative provider is available. This is particularly important for a medical abortion where you are eligible for telemedicine, as you will not have to attend a clinic.
If you are not eligible for telemedicine, you should check not only when your telephone consultation appointment will be, but also how long you will have to wait to be seen in a clinic. Again, if the waiting time to be seen face-to-face is longer than you expect when you call, ask if another provider could see you sooner.
2. Ask about choice of treatment type
The next key consideration is CHOICE of treatment type. Does the service you are considering offer you a choice of options?
If you are eligible for telemedicine, you can choose to be treated at home or face-to-face in a clinic. You are entitled to choose whichever which suits you. If you are not offered the choice of being seen face-to-face and that is your preference, ask if another provider is available so that your choice is respected.
CHOICE is also important if you require or request a surgical procedure. Most abortions are treated under 10 weeks in England and Wales and can normally be treated medically, but you can also opt to be treated surgically. If that is your preference, ask the booking service about what a surgical abortion involves and the choice of anaesthetic offered.
3. Ask about counselling options
Everyone who comes to MSI Reproductive Choices is offered telephone counselling if they would like it.
4. Read the available CQC inspection reports
CQC inspections are regular checks on health and social care services to make sure services are providing care that’s safe, caring, effective, responsive to people’s needs and well-led. These reports are public and available for everyone to read.
5. Read client stories
Reading stories from clients who have received treatment from a provider will make it easier to know what to expect and that you are not alone.
How to get in touch
At MSI Reproductive Choices, choice is at the heart of everything we do and we believe that choosing a provider which puts your wishes and needs first is your right.
You can always get in touch should you have any questions about our services, would like to book an appointment or you have had treatment with us and want aftercare support.