Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of jrsocmedLink to Publisher's site
J R Soc Med. 1980 March; 73(3): 191–196.
PMCID: PMC1437519

Provision of induced abortion in Wessex Health Region: unmet need and feasibility of compensatory day care1


A study of routinely collected data showed that in 1975 only 42% of Wessex abortion patients obtained a National Health Service operation in their own region. Within this average the range for own district National Health Service operations was from 8.7% (Central Hampshire) to 68% (South West Hampshire) when known paybed operations had been excluded. Most of the remaining patients obtained private operations outside the region and of these about 50% obtained an operation at the British Pregnancy Advisory Service Clinic (BPAS) at Brighton.

A survey of Wessex women obtaining induced abortions at BPAS, Brighton, found that 85% of a sample of patients interviewed would have been willing to have a National Health Service operation locally but it had not been available. Only 24% of these women had been referred by way of a formal and accepted path, and had obtained their operation before ten weeks gestation, a suggested maximum for day-care provision.

It this proportion is representative of Wessex patients obtaining operations outside the region, the numbers of patients involved in 1975 would have been 643 and the feasibility of a day surgical unit specially providing for this number would be questionable.

It is suggested that by reducing delays in the referral process and accepting patients by nontraditional referral paths at least a further 21% of the patients would have qualified for day care. On the basis of this estimate a Regional Day Abortion Unit is probably a practicable proposition.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (775K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Ashton JR, Dennis KJ, Rowe RG, Waters WE, Wheeller MJ. The Wessex abortion studies: I. Interdistrict variation in provision of abortion services. Lancet. 1980 Jan 12;1(8159):82–85. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine are provided here courtesy of Royal Society of Medicine Press