Board urged to drop scan photo charge

The Oban Times - - News -

PREG­NANT women in the High­lands are the only ladies in Scot­land who have to pay £ 5 for a photo of their baby’s ante-natal scan, Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion re­quests have re­vealed.

Lochaber MSP Kate Forbes has now called on NHS High­land to re­con­sider the prac­tice in light of al­most all of Scot­land’s other health boards in Scot­land pro­vid­ing a com­pli­men­tary copy. Twelve out of 14 health boards is­sue one copy free, whilst NHS Loth­ian re­quests a vol­un­tary do­na­tion. Ms Forbes said: ‘See­ing your baby for the first time on a scan at the hospi­tal is an ex­cit­ing and happy mo­ment for mums and dads-to-be, par­tic­u­larly when you can see their lit­tle hands and feet mov­ing for the first time. But it is un­for­tu­nate preg­nant women in the High­lands are the only women in Scot­land hav­ing to pay £ 5 for a photo of their baby at their ante-natal scans. When vir­tu­ally all of the other health boards in Scot­land are pro­vid­ing a com­pli­men­tary photo, I think NHS High­land should fol­low suit.’

Ms Forbes has now writ­ten to the chair­man of NHS High­land. ‘Mums are of­ten backed into dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions be­cause the bur­den falls on them and there isn’t enough sup­port in place. I be­lieve that, as a so­ci­ety, we need to recog­nise the im­por­tance of moth­er­hood and en­sure we re­move as many ob­sta­cles as pos­si­ble for mums and dads. Trag­i­cally, some women go on to have mis­car­riages and of­ten these scan pho­tos can be the only mean­ing­ful record the fam­i­lies have of their baby.’

Ms Forbes said she re­cently heard about a young mum from a de­prived area who spent more than £ 50 on scan pho­tos so she was able to ‘show off her baby scan photo to her mum, sis­ter and all her aun­ties’.

‘ Whilst I ac­cept not ev­ery­one will be do­ing this, the point re­mains this young mum used a lot of money from pre­cious lit­tle dis­pos­able in­come for once-in-al­ife­time scan pho­tos.’ A health board spokesper­son told the

Lochaber Times: ‘NHS High­land charges £ 5 for a copy of an an­te­na­tal scan and £10 for three copies. The scans are printed on high qual­ity pho­to­graphic pa­per for per­sonal use by ex­pec­tant par­ents and the cur­rent charges were put in place after an in­crease in 2014. Charg­ing for pho­tos has been in place for a num­ber of years but in light of cur­rent in­for­ma­tion we will now un­der­take a re­view of this prac­tice.’

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