Publised date : 19 Jul 2017

Perthshire North MSP, John Swinney, is seeking early answers from NHS Tayside in relation to charges for antenatal scan photographs after members of the public questioned a statement from the health board, suggesting that scan photos were free to expectant parents.

In a Freedom of Information statement, NHS Tayside advised that “For routine antenatal screening and dating scans women can offer a donation, they are not formally charged”. Mr Swinney soon received reports from new parents in his constituency who advised that they were charged £1 per photograph, and that they were not informed of the charge being a voluntary donation.

With FOI requests from all 14 health boards in Scotland showing that only NHS Highland seeks mandatory payment for scan photos, and only NHS Lothian seek a voluntary donation, the practice of NHS Tayside, as reported by parents in the area, appears to be contrary to the majority of health boards in Scotland while also different to that set out in their FOI response.

Commenting, Mr Swinney said:

“I am concerned that a number of my constituents have made me aware that they do not believe the charges for their baby scan photos, that were carried out in NHS Tayside facilities, were voluntary.

“Most parents who have contacted me have informed me that they were asked for payment for all of their scan photos and do not believe they received any information to advise them that such payment would be a donation, and not mandatory.

“I have asked NHS Tayside to confirm their position in relation to this matter. I am concerned that their position, as set out in their FOI response, does not match with the experience of recent service users.

“If it is the case that charges are voluntary I believe it would be helpful for NHS Tayside to make this very clear to all expectant parents, as soon as possible, in order to help avoid this sort of confusion in the future.”

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