Access to maternity ultrasound appointments for accompanying partners

SoR members are reporting rumours of a new deadline for enabling support person attendance at all pregnancy examinations

Published: 29 March 2021 News

SoR members across England are reporting rumours of a directive expected from the Department of Health and Social Care regarding the expectation that a support person must be able to attend for all appointments in the maternity pathway. This would include all antenatal ultrasound appointments. 

No official policy change has been released. SoR is engaged with members of the Chief Allied Health Professions Officer team at NHS England and will keep members informed as soon as we hear any change.

In the meantime, current NHSE guidance is in place as reported here.

SoR guidance for members remains unchanged. We expect frontline staff to be consulted and involved in the risk assessment process to ensure that service users, other patients and staff are able to be kept safe. We support all patients and service users being accompanied by partners or an adult support person in clinical interventions wherever it is safe to do so. We also support efforts to create safe working systems.

Where it is not possible to assure safe working for our members and their patients, we expect restrictions on partner attendance to remain in place.

Further advice to members working in ultrasound is on our Covid microsite and has a link to the SoR / BMUS ‘frequently asked questions’ to support sonographers with mitigating against risks during the pandemic. 

SoR Professional Officer Gill Harrison highlighted the pressure sonographers are under during the pandemic in an interview on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour.