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Hospital refusing to tell gender but will at a separate gender scan for a fee!

(68 Posts)
thecakeisalie Sat 09-Nov-13 20:44:18

We had our 20 week scan for dc3 yesterday and found our hospital have a non disclosure policy for gender. Fair enough some hospitals don't for various reasons including moral ones - however to then be told they do gender scans at a cost of £50 seems like a bit of con! So they will sell out on their 'morals' for a fee!

I'm not bothered about needing to find out privately as I know the nhs are scanning for health reasons, are limited on time and so on. So is it just us who think it's out of order for them to be charging?!

ivykaty44 Sun 10-Nov-13 09:06:55

In fact I would like every treatment we get on the NHS price tagged so that everyone can see how much it costs - blood tests cost, doctors appointments, drug costs. Then perhaps people would stop and think about the cost they get through their taxes and not just take it for granted what we get for free through out taxes

BranchingOut Sun 10-Nov-13 09:21:04

I think it is fair enough to not tell the gender - I can't think of any medical reason why it might be necessary to know. I can also see that sonographers might be put under pressure to hunt around, wait for the baby to move etc if it is an expectation. Sonographers are dealing with the public and that may include bullying/abusive individuals, so the back up of a hospital policy could be helpful.

Having said that, I do see that for many families it can help with bonding to the new baby prior to the birth. I can't get too bothered about the £50 charge for those who want to pay, as it is similar to private scan costs. This bothers me less than Bounty plying their intrusive wares on the maternity ward when all mothers are vulnerable.

bundaberg Sun 10-Nov-13 09:28:54

I was asked at me very first midwife appt with each of my 4 pregnancies whether I would want any screening, inc blood tests and scans. they recommend you dobut Ypu certainly are allowed to opt out if you want to.

I was also going to find out the sex of this baby because my son has autism and will need lots of preparing however I'm still in two minds because they can get it won't do in not going to rely on it or prepare him too much for the gender

bundaberg Sun 10-Nov-13 09:29:46

Argj bad typos ( on phone)

*because they can get it wrong, so

Naturegirl82 Sun 10-Nov-13 09:40:01

Branchingout sometimes there is a medical reason meaning it is necessary to be told the sex. I didn't want to find out but had to be told to be given a diagnosis of a sex specific problem.

SoonToBeSix Sun 10-Nov-13 09:46:26

Hazchem of course scans can improve outcomes , what a ridiculous statement.

christinarossetti Sun 10-Nov-13 09:50:28

Of course scans can improve outcomes.

To deny this is ideological in the extreme.

TheArticFunky Sun 10-Nov-13 10:38:03

This is policy at our two local hospitals as well.

Quodlibet Sun 10-Nov-13 12:15:05

Unfortunately this is going to get more common in all parts of the NHS. It has essentially been privatised with recent legislation and they now have no obligation to provide services as would think of as very basic. Charging for anything and everything not deemed as totally essential is going to become commonplace, and we will very shortly have a 2 tier system where those that can pay get better care than those who can't.

bundaberg Sun 10-Nov-13 14:12:40

how can it be better "care" if those things are non-essential?

knowing the sex of your baby before it is born is not better care.

Bue Sun 10-Nov-13 15:26:43

But it's not really an 'extra check' that takes a lot of time. The anomaly scan is very thorough and with most babies, the sonographer will clearly see what gender the child is as part of the scan. If they can't, they can't, and yes it would be unreasonable to ask them to spend ages hunting around, but to pretend that cerifying the sex takes aaaages and will add to workload is simply untrue.

To me this looks like a money making scheme on the part of the hospital and I am shocked by it.

Inglori0us Sun 10-Nov-13 15:29:03

This private clinic http://www.ultrasound-direct.com/mobile/pregscanlist.aspx does gender scan for £39. We had one as the Nhs sonographer couldn't tell due to baby's position at 20wk scan.

peeapod Sun 10-Nov-13 15:52:59

It is a difficult and personal choice around finding out gender, and to have that choice taken away from you imo is wrong.

I can argue both sides equally, but ultimately those who need to know for whatever reason will be the ones paying if they need to, because they wont see it as a choice.
I need to know, but not for the reasons most people would think, and its not something i can discuss with many people.

it has become part of popular maternity culture now and i dont think it should be taken away. as in you can see it in all the literature etc. around pregnancy in every site.

bundaberg Sun 10-Nov-13 15:58:02

if people NEED to know for a medical reason then I am certain they will not be charged to find out.

no-one else NEEDS to know. they may want to know, but that is entirely different. Women have managed to get by for thousands and thousands of years without knowing the gender of their baby before birth. it's really not that much of a hardship hmm

Quodlibet Sun 10-Nov-13 16:11:40

It's not a hardship, no. But my point about better - or perhaps more luxury care in a 2 tier system still stands. The NHS will monetize anything they can going forward. It's not essential for a woman to have a private room post-birth either - I'm sure nearly everyone would prefer one though. So now in many hospitals you can pay to upgrade to one, or else it's a multi-bed post-natal ward where your partner can't stay.

Whether it takes extra time to confirm the sex or not at a scan is quite arbitrary. I think our sonographer at a 31 wk growth scan actually had to work harder not to reveal the gender to us because we didn't want to know. But they know it is a service many people would like and therefore it is easy to monetize.

nooka Sun 10-Nov-13 16:53:00

I think it might be much better if people didn't routinely know the sex of the baby before it was born. A room of your own is a luxury too, if we want services like this then they need to be paid for as well as all the things that are essential.

Having said that as an ex-NHS employee I think that what is happening to the service is incredibly sad.

SaucyJack Sun 10-Nov-13 17:06:45

I don't agree with this at all.

It's one thing (I suppose) if it would genuinely take up too much clinical time to look, but if they have noticed during the course of the scan then I don't think they should actually have the right to keep it from you. It's your baby.

Julietee Sun 10-Nov-13 17:42:28

I agree with SaucyJack. It's your baby. I don't see why they can't tell you the sex if it becomes obvious to them during the course of the scan. If they want to charge for that information, that's a different matter - but why make it a separate scan?

On the subject of a two tier system - yeah, we already have that - e.g. the Knutsford private wing at Watford.
Honestly, I'd rather be told about the tests/ services they're not providing to me and be offered the choice to pay for them than just not be informed. I know there are various blood tests that could provide useful information for the pregnancy that aren't routine because they'd take up too much time and cost too much. I'd 100x rather have the choice to pay for them additionally than the current system which denies you the knowledge at all.

TheSporkforeatingkyriarchy Sun 10-Nov-13 17:53:22

Actually, repeated studies have shown that routine scans do NOT improve outcomes of increased live births or perinatal morbidity over the population. Finding malformations before birth is something that it does increase and can be useful but that does have a false positive rate that needs to be observed and that this information should be given as part of informed consent. Now there may be bias in repeated meta-analysis of the topic, but it is the current consensus of major health organization around the world based on the current evidence even when it can seem counter intuitive and is not an extreme ideology, it's been fairly conservatively analysed.

SoonToBeSix Sun 10-Nov-13 18:37:56

Ok theSpork do you suggest I dont bother going to my fortnightly scan to check for twin to twin syndrome.

Mintyy Sun 10-Nov-13 18:44:47

Obviously theSpork isn't suggesting that SoonToBeSix!!

I think some people are missing the point on this thread that some trusts have a policy not to disclose the gender, even if it can be seen on the routine scan and even if the parents wish to know. But they will disclose it if you bung them an extra fee.

I believe this is what has happened to the op, and I think it is disgraceful.

randdom Sun 10-Nov-13 18:59:31

Soontobesix my understanding is that the literature being talked about is mentioning routine screening scans. Once a problem that need monitoring is found that is a different issue.

However personally there are a few situations where things that are picked up on routine scans may change management prior to birth e.g. Placenta previa and multiple pregnancies but these would only make up a small number of cases.

I think that charging for gender scans in this situation is unfair. If the gender is easily found then I think the parents should he told. However I don't think the sonographer should be expected to go out of their way to find out. I also think that while finding this information out us desirable to a good number of people in most cases it isn't essential. Unfortunately hospitals are having to charge for more things to make money as the cuts that are being made at the moment are causing a lot of damage hmm

TheSporkforeatingkyriarchy Sun 10-Nov-13 19:15:12

I specifically said and italic the word routine. The article I linked to used the word routine repeatedly because that's what it is studying and what hazchem was talking about and being called 'extreme' over when actually it is internationally accepted standard even if it information given for proper informed consent isn't usually given.

Routine ultrasounds - as in doing the same scans for every woman regardless of outstanding risk factors like twins or problematic health histories - does not improve over the population as a whole for increased number of live births or perinatal mortality. It isn't suggesting that it isn't going to improve situation for an individual with particular risk factors. This of particular concern in America which often does a lot more scans and has a far worse outcomes even with them, but they as usual ignore WHO findings in favour of squeezing more money out of vulnerable women.

thecakeisalie Sun 10-Nov-13 19:21:32

That's exactly the case Mintyy and the part I am annoyed about. Not finding out the gender because the hospital have a non disclosure policy is fair enough and on its own wouldn't bother me. To be told they will for a fee to me undermines the reasons for a non disclosure policy in the first place.

The money feels like a lot to us right now which has probably influenced how we feel about it. I am fully aware its not the end of the world not to know the gender but I personally prefer knowing and don't appreciate the nhs using this preference to their advantage.

All this talk of the £50 creating a barrier against domestic violence/abortions due to gender selection makes no sense - only people unable to afford the extra money would find this a barrier. So are only poorer people likely to be violent or abort a baby of the 'wrong' gender? The nhs is selling out either have a non disclosure policy or don't but don't take money for social scans.

Typing on my phone so I feel my points are maybe getting lost in translation but just wanted to reply as I have been reading the thread.

OddBoots Sun 10-Nov-13 19:37:21

They are trialling telling women at our local hospital but a friend who works in the department has said that it is meaning the scans take longer so they are able to do fewer a day. It's all very well to say that if they see it then they see it and if they don't then they don't but when emotions are running high it's not that simple.

If the £50 means the hospital can get another scanner and pay another sonographer so it doesn't mean longer waits then I can see why they do it.

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