"Ultrasound Gynecology Unit"

About: Darent Valley Hospital

My experience during my past scan was far from being a pleasant experience. It all started with the bored sonographer who seemed to me more interested in finish with it than actually being interested on what they were doing. Expecting for sometime for this scan I got very surprised that it wasn't even scheduled on my 21st week of pregnancy therefore I attended my GP in order to find out what was wrong but not only that was wrong also a blood test that had to be repeated not only wasn't on the system I never got the results back. After being sorted out by the GP I got immediately a phone call from the hospital booking the scan for the next Monday 22nd June, not so bad after all. I was expecting to be sure about the baby gender and that wasn't possible apparently according to the sonographer there's 50% of being a boy or a girl?! That I know from the beginning of my pregnancy. My concern is if they couldn't ascertain the gender were they really capable of judging for possible malformations? Hopefully they were right and all is great with my baby. Then the scan pictures are a physical proof of disinterest and professionalism of this sonographer not showing any clear images which I could clearly see that it could have been much better just can't agree with their choice definitely not the best.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Darent Valley Hospital

I would like to apologise if you felt that the service that you received from your recent visit to the ultrasound department was poor. It is disappointing to hear that you had been given the impression that the sonographer that examined you was disinterested and unprofessional and I will discuss these comments with the staff member in question. From the perspective of fetal sexing – we do offer this service but we do inform patients that fetal sexing is not 100% guaranteed, this information is also included in the appointment letters that we send out. Being able to sex a baby is very dependent on the baby’s position and may limit the opportunity to be able to clearly view the area required hence the sonographer not being able to confirm fetal sex. Similarly the perceived quality of baby photos is also highly dependent on baby’s position. The ability to sex baby and provide a photo is not, however, representative of the skill of the sonographer or the ability to assess anatomy for possible abnormalities. Had the sonographer not been able to clearly examine all of the fetal anatomy required then you would have been offered a further scan to complete the anatomy checks. There is no facility however to rebook for baby photos or fetal sexing. I wish you the best during your pregnancy and if you wish to discuss anything further please do not hestiate to contact me. Pauline Mellor Operational Lead Ultrasound/Radiology

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