Board urged to drop scan photo charge
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.’