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.