United Kingdom

Now lone mothers are banned from FILMING their baby scan

Maternity units already under fire for stopping partners from attending scans are also banning women from filming their appointments, it has emerged.

Campaigners are seeking legal advice over the policy, which they claim flouts General Medical Council guidance.

Recording appointments can help women forced to attend scans alone to share the information, which can be vital, particularly after getting bad news or being presented with difficult choices as a result of pregnancy complications.

But Public Health Wales has banned all pregnant women from video-recording scans during Covid in case it makes their appointment run over and prevents them staying two metres away from the sonographer. 

Maternity units already under fire for stopping partners from attending scans are also banning women from filming their appointments

Its guidance also says the recording ‘might affect the sonographer’s concentration’.

Campaigners reject these arguments and want women to be able to record appointments. The General Medical Council says doctors should let patients record their consultations.

The campaign group Birthrights has also seen cases of hospitals in Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Essex banning women from recording their scans.

The Mail on Sunday is campaigning to end the trauma of lone births. In December, NHS England issued guidance that all health trusts must allow partners access ‘at all times’, and all trusts committed to adopting it. But the resurgence of Covid has meant some have suspended it or reimposed draconian restrictions.

Maria Booker, of Birthrights, said: ‘If a maternity service is not allowing partners to attend scans in person due to coronavirus, it feels a small ask to let partners attend remotely instead. 

Thousands of women are enduring the ‘unimaginable anguish’ of having to give birth alone due to draconian Covid-19 rules

'We have not seen evidence to back up arguments about distracting sonographers and extending appointments, and believe blanket bans on filming scan appointments could be unlawful.’

Campaigners said sonographers have a right not to be filmed, but recordings can be made without showing them.

Oxford University Hospitals Foundation Trust, which does not let partners attend all scans, says on its website: ‘Unfortunately, as your scan is a clinical procedure, filming and telephone calls are not permitted.’

Public Health Wales said its decision met guidance from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the Royal College of Midwives and the Society of Radiographers. 

It added: ‘While video calling during a scan is not recommended, health boards may have suggestions of other things they can do locally to support the woman’s experience.’

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