Are Private Baby Scans Better Than NHS Scans?

Healthcare in the UK is provided by the NHS (the National Health System) and private providers. When you need or want medical treatment, you have a choice of whether to use NHS or private services. If you are pregnant, you will be invited to attend NHS pregnancy scans, but you can also organise private scans, if you would prefer. Here are some of the benefits of private baby scans:

  • Privacy: private health clinics offer individual rooms as standard and afford women and their partners, or birth partners, greater privacy. A scan can be incredibly exciting, but it can also be daunting and many women prefer the privacy offered by a private facility.
  • Flexibility: private clinics offer more flexibility and control for the expectant parents than NHS clinics; you can book an appointment at any time that is convenient to you, you can ask for more images to take home and you can book a scan whenever you want, rather than at stipulated stages of pregnancy. Many clinics also offer more flexible appointment times, including evening, early morning and weekend sessions, which may be more convenient for people who work full-time or those that have existing childcare commitments.
  • Detail: private pregnancy scans may be more detailed than standard NHS pregnancy scans because there is more time available and the sonographer is able to adapt the scan to suit the preferences of the parents; for example, if you want to focus on a specific part of the baby, this is possible. There is a great deal of pressure on NHS services and this means that time may be restricted; with private treatment, there is greater opportunity for the individual or couple to see more and enjoy a deeper discussion with their sonographer.
  • Modern facilities: private health clinics tend to be a lot more modern and stylish than NHS facilities; it’s not abnormal to be invited to enjoy a drink, free Wifi, a newspaper and even the relaxing aroma of soothing candles, while you wait for a private baby scan.
  • Value: many people may assume that paying for a private scan is a bit of a waste of money, given that the service is available free of charge on the NHS, but if you take into consideration the extra services and features of the scan, private scans are actually good value for money in many cases, especially for parents who are eager to gain as much information about their baby as possible.
  • Modern technology: private scans use the latest technology to produce incredibly detailed images. Standard ultrasound scans generally use 2D technology, while private clinics offer 3D and even 4D scans, which enable you to enjoy a much more detailed, clearer view of your baby.

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