400 abortions 'without sign-offs'

More than 400 abortions were carried out last year without the right information being submitted to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), official figures have shown.

Doctors also failed to provide enough information about their patients in another 40 cases, according to the statistics from the Department of Health (DoH).

In 2011, there were 449 abortions carried out without doctors supplying the correct information to the DoH. In 2009, that figure was just 310, while 29 babies were aborted with incomplete information from patients.

Under the Abortion Act 1967, two doctors must approve a patient for an abortion. Their signatures of approval are then sent to the CMO. The doctor carrying out the termination must then submit a form to the CMO which includes the names and addresses of the doctors who approved the abortion.

The figures were revealed in an answer to a written ministerial question from Nadine Dorries, Tory MP for Mid Bedfordshire.

Answering Ms Dorries, Health Minister Anne Milton said: "Departmental officials make every effort to obtain missing data and information.

"Sometimes this is not possible for a number of reasons including illness, death or suspension of the terminating doctor or the doctor moving abroad."

Ms Dorries said: "There is no part of the process that shouldn't be properly adhered to because for many people it is about ending life and therefore the process should be completely adhered to."