Society defends inclusive pregnancy guidance after media criticism

“Irresponsible and inaccurate reporting increases the pressure to deliver very sensitive information in already challenging circumstances"

Published: 05 April 2022 Obstetrics and Gynaecology

The Society has issued a statement in the face of criticism from certain sections of the media defending its position that all patients in an identified risk group should be asked if they are pregnant prior to exposure to ionising radiation.

Recent negative stories in the press have highlighted that at some NHS Trusts, “men are being asked if they are pregnant” and refer to the Society’s Inclusive Pregnancy Status Guidelines published last year which advise members that it is 'important to check with all patients for any possibility of pregnancy”.

Lynda Johnson, Professional Officer Clinical Imaging and Charlotte Beardmore, Executive Director of Professional Policy, challenged the negative coverage, saying that “extensively considered professional body guidance is [being] misrepresented in the public arena”.

“While we support all views, healthcare professionals have a responsibility to act in the best interests of the patient and to ensure patients are treated with dignity and respect at every interaction’” they said.

They added that “irresponsible and inaccurate media reporting increases the pressure on the workforce to deliver very sensitive information in already challenging circumstances. We hope that a clear public message will help to mitigate any damage that may have been caused.”

The publication in November 2021 of the Inclusive Pregnancy Status Guidelines was widely welcomed by members and won praise on social media as part of the Society's commitment to ensure best practice in the application of radiation protection and the highest standards of care for all service users.

The Society of Radiographers' response to the inaccurate representation of the Inclusive Pregnancy Status Guidelines within the media is available here.