…hospitals insist parents have to pay up to £5 for a picture of their unborn
Parents-to-be should be given free baby scan photos of their unborn child, but hospitals are still charging them up to five pounds for a service which costs pennies.
And a UK company has found that the powers-that-be won’t change the rules to allow sponsorship of this “service” so parents don’t have to pay.
It’s an attitude, which has angered many and StemProtect.co.uk is a company which sees the charge as an insult to parents who may be saving every penny as they await their new-born.
“For many parents, the charge for a print-out of their baby scan might be no big deal,” says StemProtect.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall, “But there are thousands of mums-to-be across Britain who simply can’t afford this kind of money.”
Gouging money from vulnerable people
The scan is a look into the near future for new parents, and to charge them for this moment of hope is – well – a bit nasty, really.
StemProtect.co.uk’s Mark Hall says it only costs pennies to produce the print-out, so a five pound charge is virtually all profit for hospital trusts.
What kind of parent would turn down this important keepsake?
“It’s like over-priced car parking at hospitals up and down the country,” says Hall, “It’s just another way of gouging money from people when they’re at their most vulnerable.
“It’s a special kind of money-grabbing to offer an image of an unborn child, when there’s a chance mum could be going home empty-handed.”
That’s why StemProtect.co.uk is trying to sponsor this service to allow all parents – no matter what their financial means – to have a scan photo of the child to keep forever.
“We’d like to give NHS trust hospitals in the United Kingdom money so that they don’t have to pressure parents into handing over their cash,” says Hall.
It’s a no-strings sponsorship offer that will mean all parents-to-be get an image for their new baby, and the team at StemProtect.co.uk expect nothing in the way of service level agreements in return.
Unfortunately, NHS mandarins have told StemProtect.co.uk that they’re unwilling to accept the money, and that means a continuation of the unwelcome practise of dragging money out of parents.
StemProtect.co.uk says: “We know that NHS trusts are fighting for every penny from central government at the moment.
“But we’re making a straight offer which guarantees them cash straight into their pre- and neo-natal budgets, all without having to embarrass parents by begging for their money.”
Mark Hall says: “We appreciate that hospitals might be nervous about sponsorship deals in clinical areas, but we have no expectations of changing the way pre-natal departments work, and we would never dream of doing so.
“We only want to make things better for parents.”