Virtual attendance at scans

Our teams at BWC are continuing to work on ways to safely introduce partners/adult individuals to attend for ultrasound scans.

We recognise how difficult it is not to have someone with you, we have made an interim change to our service to help support women and their families during the pandemic.

Therefore, we are pleased to be able to offer you an opportunity to have your partner/adult individual to be ‘virtually present’ at the end of your scan. You will be advised by the sonographer when you are able to observe a two minute Cineloop (a 30 second video recording of your baby taken during you scan that loops for two minutes), via video call using your chosen platform, such as face time or WhatsApp. This will happen at the end of the scan in faciliites where we have Cineloop available.

The type and location of your scan, whether in the hospital or at one of our community settings, may change the way virtual attendance works. Therefore, we have put together some information to help you to prepare for your scan prior to your attendance.

After having completed a short pilot, we are pleased to be able to welcome your chosen support partner to be ‘virtually present’ during your scan. We’ve learnt from feedback from women, their support partner and our sonographers, however, we are still learning how best to make virtual attendance work. We thank you for your patience as we work together to get this right for all.

We will continue to provide updates directly through your midwife and clinical team and on our website. If you have any concerns please speak with your midwife or contact our Maternity hotline 0121 335 8234.

Preparing for your appointment

Before your appointment, please make sure you have identified who you will be video-calling and that they are ready to receive the call. Please also ensure your phone is fully charged.

We want all women to have the option of virtual attendance through video-calling, so we will be carrying out scans as normal and are unable to extend the length of the scan if your support partner does not answer. As the scan is an important examination, we may sometimes take longer than anticipated in an earlier appointment so we thank you for understanding if we are not quite running to schedule.

What will happen at my appointment?

The sonographer will explain that he/she will first undertake some important measurements and anatomy assessment, during which concentration is key. Your sonographer will ask you to wait a short while before making your call for them to do so.

Your sonographer will invite you when the time is right to make your video call. The point at which you make the call may be different depending on the location and type of scan you are having. You will be asked to direct your camera phone to the screen so that, when it is possible, your support partner can see the images. Our sonographers will not be able to help you operate your phone as they will be concentrating on the scan itself.

What will my support partner be able to see?

Our range of facilities, equipment and types of scan, along with the position of your baby means that we are unable to guarantee what your partner will be able to see but our sonographers will do their best to offer the best images.

Why can’t my support partner join me in person?

Work is underway to safely support partners to physically accompany women for their appointments and scans in line with national guidance. The layout and size of our buildings, and the additional space and staff needed to safely administer rapid Covid tests for those attending hospital appointments has presented challenges to us introducing this quickly.

We are installing new temporary buildings to allow us to put in place a safe system to welcome back partners, and we hope to have this in place soon