The development of a nationwide central booking service for abortion

Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care. 2006 Sep;11(3):210-4. doi: 10.1080/13625180600621575.


Background: Central booking services have been proven to facilitate access to abortion services. This in turn should reduce morbidity and mortality. City-wide models have previously been described. A nationwide central booking service has been developed in the UK.

Development: A nationwide central booking service was introduced in 1993. Initially a manual booking system was used. In 1996 the appointment system was computerised.

Output: More than a quarter of a million calls are now received each year. The highest demand weekday is a Monday. The volume of calls peaks at mid-morning. There is a sustained rise in calls from the second week in January through to mid-February, peaking in the fifth week of the year. More than a quarter of calls originate from mobile phones.

Conclusions: The computerised central booking service has radically improved the efficiency of the organisation. Waiting times can be actively managed using data from the system.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Legal* / statistics & numerical data
  • Appointments and Schedules*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized*
  • Office Visits
  • Organizations, Nonprofit / organization & administration*
  • Organizations, Nonprofit / statistics & numerical data
  • Pregnancy
  • Telephone
  • United Kingdom