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Introduction

The Society and College of Radiographers (SCoR) is very much aware that many prospective parents welcome the opportunity to obtain images of their developing baby and to be able to share these with their family and friends. It is also conscious that the time allowed to perform an ultrasound scan for diagnostic or screening purposes under NHS provision is limited. Adding non-essential services to the ultrasound scan increases the time required which can in turn have an impact on other patients with pressing clinical needs. It can also conflict with the purpose of the examination which, under NHS funded provision, will be performed for a specific clinical reason, or as part of a national screening programme for fetal abnormality.  Many NHS Trusts and Health Boards are coming under increasing financial pressure and are looking for ways to generate income from ultrasound scans performed during pregnancy.  This guidance sets out the SCoR position with respect to what it considers appropriate as far as the sale of images, determination of fetal sex and the growing commercialisation of these scans is concerned. 

This guidance relates solely to NHS commissioned ultrasound examinations performed for screening or diagnostic purposes as part of a national screening programme for fetal abnormality; or other scans performed for diagnostic or monitoring purposes that are funded as part of overall NHS maternity provision and are thus free to the mother. It does not extend to ultrasound examinations performed where a scan has been requested by the mother and is outside normal NHS provision. 

The Society and College of Radiographers has produced a separate document giving advice regarding requests from women to record their obstetric ultrasound examinations with mobile telephones or other digital or analogue recording media. This advice is publically available in the SCoR document library at:

https://www.sor.org/learning/document-library/recording-images-patients-during-diagnostic-imaging-including-screening-and-radiotherapy

Information for patients and the public on ultrasound scans including advice on obtaining an opinion of the fetal sex can be found on the NHS Choices website at: 

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/ultrasound-anomaly-baby-scans-pregnant.aspx#close

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