Should we have to pay for baby scan photos?

For the mums-to-be who don’t yet know, most hospitals charge for scan photos, so make sure you have some change on you at your first scan appointment.

I only found out that you had to pay when, with my first child, the sonographer asked how many photos I had paid for. Luckily he was having a good day and I got my 12-week scan pics for free.

I since learnt to always have cash on me, which is not something I usually carry, when it was scan appointment day.

At the two different hospitals at which my three children have been born, pics cost £2 each but a couple of years ago a Women’s NHS Foundation Trust in Birmingham, which runs the Birmingham Women’s Hospital, made headlines for charging parents £6 for a single ultrasound photo.

In 2011 Medway Maritime Hospital in Kent made £180,000 last year by charging £7 for a photo, £13 for two or £24 for a set of four, and Dartford and Gravesham NHS trust made £245,472 over three years – nearly £82,000 a year – by charging fees of £5 a picture.

Some trusts argue that they need to charge fees to cover the costs of scanning equipment and photo printing. Really? And if there’s extra money after ‘costs covered’? – Assumedly it goes back into the trust.

Here’s the thing; I pay my taxes, so should I not get at least one scan pic free? And what about a donation? – Some NHS hospitals do go this route.

To be honest, I didn’t begrudge paying for the ultrasound pics but I was also surprised by the fact that I had to pay – and that I hadn’t been informed of this fact on my appointment letter; that first 12 week scan is really special and I can’t imagine that any parent would want to miss out on a photo momenta because poor admin meant they weren’t aware they had to pay.

The moral of the story: if you haven’t already been told, call your hospital and ask them about their policy on ultrasound pics – so that you can be prepared.

What do you think – should we pay for scan pics?

Source: – “£7 a picture: The hospitals cashing in on baby scans that others hand out for free