Booking an Appointment for an Abortion
Once you have deliberated over what you are going to do about your pregnancy and have decided to have an abortion you now need to arrange an appointment.
Booking an abortion through the NHS
In many areas abortions are available for free on the NHS and carried out at a NHS hospital or specialist abortion clinic. Your GP (if you are happy to talk to him/her) or local family planning service or sexual health clinic will be able to refer you for a free NHS abortion at a specialist abortion clinic. You may even be able to make an NHS appointment at an abortion clinic yourself.
Booking an abortion through a private clinic
For a fast and convenient appointment you can contact an abortion clinic directly and choose to pay for private care. You will be given an initial consultation and offered professional counselling. Some women choose to pay for abortion care as it can be quicker to get an appointment and they may feel more comfortable contacting the clinic directly rather than seeing their GP and waiting for NHS referral. Please complete the form on the right if you would like an advisor to contact you with more information on private abortion care.
If you choose to go to a private clinic you can make your initial appointment at any time of the day or night as they provide 24 hour information and support.
The main abortion providers offering private care as well as NHS abortions are The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) and Marie Stopes International. Often your local NHS will pay for you to have an abortion at these clinics and so they offer both private and NHS abortions.
There isn’t normally a waiting list to attend a private clinic and you can often choose a weekend appointment although this can cost extra.
You will be given an appointment at the clinic of your choice. It doesn’t have to be the clinic nearest to where you live if you don’t want it to be. You don’t always have to attend the clinic in person for your initial consultation appointment as many clinics offer a telephone based consultation where you can discuss all your options with a specialist nurse at your convenience and then book an abortion appointment.
Informing your GP about your Abortion
If you decided to go directly to a private abortion clinic you will be asked whether you want your GP to know about your abortion. However, it is sometimes possible to access free NHS abortion through the Family Planning Association or Brook Advisory Service without your GP knowing about it.
Does my GP need to know about my abortion?
It is possible for you to have an abortion on the NHS without your doctor ever knowing about it. This can be done by accessing NHS abortion services through your local family planning service or sexual health clinic. The decision to send your treatment notes to your GP is entirely up to you. If you wish your abortion to remain private then you can ask the abortion clinic not to send your notes to your GP.
Why should my GP be told about my abortion?
While you don’t have to send your abortion records on to your GP most clinics advise you to allow them to send on your treatment notes to your GP. This is so they can be held alongside all your medical records in case you suffer any complications as a result of the abortion at a later date.
How will my GP be told?
If you go directly to your GP to request an abortion they will automatically know about it and add it to your medical records. If you go through your local family planning service or sexual health clinic or have a private abortion you can ask the private clinic to pass on the medical information to your GP on your behalf. This will be done confidentially and privately.
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