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Daily Mail article statement and fact check

Friday 20 October 2017 MSI Reproductive Choices UK Press release UK

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Daily Mail CQC article (October)

On 20th October, The Daily Mail published an article relating to a CQC inspection of our Maidstone clinic in May 2016.

The article's key claim is categorically untrue and the article also includes a number of further incorrect claims about Marie Stopes UK.

Our statement on the article is below, along with further context to some of the claims it makes.

Media statement

Richard Bentley, Managing Director at Marie Stopes UK, said:  

“The Daily Mail’s claim that we “paid staff bonuses for abortions” is categorically not true and it is disappointing that the newspaper decided to print this claim. It’s true that our team members are measured against key performance indicators (KPIs) that relate to quality and client care. However, none of these KPIs relate to client numbers, and it is untrue that any member of our staff receives a performance related bonus for the number of clients they treat.

“Informed choice is at the heart of our charity’s mission, and every woman we serve is talked through her options before booking an appointment and again at the clinic. We follow a stringent consent process, and we will not proceed with a procedure if we have any doubt at all that a woman is unsure of her decision.

“In 2016, around one in 20 of our clients did not proceed with a procedure after booking an appointment, either because she changed her mind or because we weren’t assured that she was certain of her decision.

“We remain committed to providing the highest level of care for women, and we continue to work closely with the Care Quality Commission to ensure we are providing high quality and compassionate services for the 70,000 women and men we treat each year.”

Fact check

Below we detail some of the inaccuracies and fabrications contained in the article. 

  • The ‘do not proceed’ rate is one of the measures that we monitor across our clinics, to ensure that women are receiving the best possible care. It is not a key performance indicator (KPI), and it is not linked to staff pay.
  • The ‘do not proceed’ rate includes cases where either a client chooses not to continue with treatment, or we aren’t assured that they are confident in their choice; and also cases where operational issues prevent procedures from going ahead. It is right that we measure this.
  • The article cites a case in which it is claimed a woman at Marie Stopes UK’s Maidstone clinic chose not to continue with treatment and was rebooked for a later appointment. It is true that some clients who choose not to continue with treatment change their mind and contact us to rebook. However, we do not proactively contact clients who have chosen not to proceed with treatment.
  • The claim that CQC inspectors found evidence of a policy whereby staff were told to offer new appointments to women who chose not to continue with treatment is an outright fabrication. No such policy exists.

  • The article claims that partners, parents and other supporters at our Maidstone clinic were seen as an inconvenience and their presence was discouraged. This is not the case at any of our clinics. Our nurses always need to see the client on their own at some point, both for safeguarding reasons and to ensure that it is the client’s choice and they are not being forced to do something they do not want. However, friends and family are absolutely welcome to accompany clients at their appointment for additional support.

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