Fears that parents-to-be may soon have to pay for a printout of their antenatal scans have been raised after it was found some NHS trusts have been charging for the images.
Many antenatal wards across the country give pictures away for free or ask for a donation in exchange for the printouts, but there are a number of hospitals across the UK that charge for these pregnancy mementos.
Medway Maritime Hospital is said to have made over £180,000 last year by charging £7 for one set of baby scan photos and £24 for four sets. Birmingham Women’s NHS Foundation Trust charges £6 for a single scan photo and Dartford and Gravesham NHS trust made £245,427 over three years by charging £5 a picture.
The system has been branded a “postcode lottery” by expectant mums who experience a huge difference in price across the country.
Emma Boon, campaign director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said, “Mums-to-be already pay for the NHS through their taxes. This is asking them to pay twice. Pregnancy is meant to be a happy time for prospective parents, not a money-making opportunity for a hospital.”
A spokesman from Medway NHS Foundation Trust said the charge was needed to cover the costs of equipment. “This service is solely provided so that parents can take away images of their baby. As it is not provided for clinical purposes… the trust has to maintain equipment to ensure that this service is available for those parents who wish to use it.”
Did you pay for your ultrasound photos? Would you?