AIMS asks Society and College of Radiographers to review guidance on partners and supporters at scans

AIMS, supported by a coalition of campaigning organisations (Birthrights, The BirthBliss Academy, The Birth Trauma Association, The Fatherhood Institute, and Make Birth Better) has written to the Society and College of Radiographers (SCoR) concerning their guidance "Obstetric ultrasound examinations during the COVID-19 pandemic" which is causing many people to be denied a support partner during antenatal ultrasound examinations.

Our letter calls on SCoR to recommend to their members that:

  • They support all pregnant women and people to be able to have their partner or support person present throughout a scan
  • If there are specific reasons why this can’t be supported for all at a particular hospital at a particular time, then to support it for those with specific needs
  • That they support those who cannot have their partner or supporter present to use a mobile phone to speak with them during the scan

You can read the full text of our letter here.

We have received a reply from their President, telling us that this guidance was an interim measure and that SCoR are working with NHS England and NHS improvement (NHSE&I), the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives on a new document.

Our letter also urged SCoR to take the lead in sharing the solutions that some Trusts have adopted to enable them to admit partners to antenatal scans safely, and to encourage their members to work with their Trust/Board to enable this for everyone. We are therefore pleased by the reply that SCoR intends soon to publish on their website www.sor.org a summary of these innovative solutions. AIMS hopes that the new guidance will also draw on these experiences to enable all pregnant women and people to be accompanied by their partner of choice at antenatal scans.

We are, however, disappointed that SCoR did not address the issue of some Trusts attempting to prevent people from exercising their legal right to use a mobile phone during a scan so that their partner or supporter can at least join in the conversation if it is really not possible for them to be present.

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