The study objective was to report setting up and running a new outpatient service for early medical termination under seven weeks’ gestation.

We describe the process of setting up the clinic within the confines of the Abortion Act 1967, the training of staff, acquisition of resources, cost analysis, and negotiations with the Primary Care Trust. We report running the service in the first 12 months, difficulties encountered, and how these have been overcome. Our experience is compared with the limited published data available.

One hundred seventy-one patients were referred in the first year, 148 were offered an appointment, and 100 women completed outpatient treatment for medical termination under seven weeks’ gestation. 90% of patients attended follow-up at two weeks, and the remainder were contacted by telephone. Clinical outcomes were similar to those reported in the literature, apart from initially higher numbers of women undergoing evacuation of retained products of conception. The estimated cost per case in the first year was £156, which represented a considerable cost saving compared to £498 for surgical termination and £423 for inpatient medical termination.

The study concluded that our service is successful, viable for the future, and has acceptably good patient outcomes, improving all the time.