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Abortion

Volume 507: debated on Tuesday 16 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the answer of 12 October 2009, Official Report, column 684W, on abortions, for what reasons national health service numbers are not used as a unique patient identifier in respect of abortion operations; and what recent representations he has received on the matter. (322328)

The national health service number is not used as a unique patient identifier for women accessing abortion services for reasons of confidentiality, enabling women who wish to remain anonymous to do so. This is in accordance with the ‘NHS Number programme’ implementation guidance issued in December 2008, which confirms that exemptions apply to patients accessing sexual health services. The Government have received some representation on this matter and have no plans to change their position.