Frequently Asked Questions

Choosing and booking a private ultrasound scan online may raise a question or two, so we’ve listed the common ones based on our experience to date. Click on a question to read the answer.

Can I self refer for a private ultrasound scan?

Absolutely yes. The service provider, however, must have a recognised clinical framework (correct processes for providing clinical services directly to the public) such as ours in place. All of our ultrasound services comply with guideline recommendations and are maintained to the required standard. You can learn more about how we work here

Why should I buy a private ultrasound scan?

Popular reasons for booking a private ultrasound directly are to avoid a long wait for an appointment, having a wider choice of appointment times to choose from and, in some cases, when your particular scan is not available via the NHS locally. In addition, we assign more time to each appointment than the typical hospital equivalent and the results from the vast majority of our scans are given to you on the day.

Is ultrasound scanning safe?

Provided the ultrasound service on offer is being operated to the required guidelines, there are no contraindications for first line ultrasound scans. Since ultrasound is not an ionising radiation such as x-ray, there are also no known hazardous effects associated with multiple first line scans, again provided the service is operated to recommended guidelines. The safety of diagnostic ultrasound continues to be researched and monitored by the relevant professional bodies.

Are 4D baby scans safe?

The HPA published a report in February 2010 and considers that parents-to-be should be aware of "uncertainties regarding ultrasound imaging....." when thinking about 4D scans. All of our 4D scans are professional guideline compliant as reported in our news item from January 2013 .

What is the difference between diagnostic and non-diagnostic scans?

Any pregnancy scans referred to as "non-diagnostic" should be avoided. It implies that the (diagnostic) ultrasound equipment is not be being used in accordance with manufacturer's guidelines, that the person operating it may not be a health care professional or following their duty of care requirements (i.e. ignoring any incidental findings), may not be professionally insured and are ignoring the fundamental safety guideline set out by the DoH in the UK.

All of our pregnancy scans include a minimum of a well-being check, are carried out by health care professionals who will act upon their duty of care with incidental findings and who can write clinical reports. Our ultrasound systems are sourced through official channels and are set-up and operated to the manufacturer's guidelines.

What should I expect when I arrive for an appointment?

Please go to our clinic receptionist on arrival who will then ask you to read through our consent form and discuss any aspect of your scan before your appointment. You will not need to change into a gown, but please read any pre scan preparations found in the scan descriptions and your booking confirmation. Payments and balances are taken once you have signed the consent form and before the scan.

How many guests can come to my pregnancy scan?

If you’re looking to make your pregnancy scan a family occasion, our Extended Appointment Scans are great for this. Most clinics can comfortably accommodate 4 guests including children. If you would like to bring more, please contact your chosen clinic when booking to check how many we can accommodate.
Fast result pregnancy scans are optimised to get the result you want in a quick, easy and affordable manner. Whilst guests are always welcome, the shorter time means we cannot accommodate more than 2 in total for the duration of your appointment.

Can I bring anyone into the scan room?

A private scan is your choice and our Sonographers will always accommodate guests and partners. It is worth noting that certain scans may involve intimate or internal scanning and we recommend if you require a chaperone that you bring someone you feel comfortable with as there may not be suitable staff available. Also consider who you would feel comfortable with if your results were a medical follow up outcome.

Who will perform my scan?

The majority of our scans are carried out by Sonographers. Sonographers usually train first as a Radiographer, then undertake an approved post-registration course. These courses are offered by higher education and as a minimum require 1 additional academic year that prepares them both clinically and academically for this specific area of practice. All practicing Radiographers are regulated by the Healthcare Professions Council. Other types of health care professional who may provide our scans are either suitably experienced Doctors or Sonographer Midwives specifically for pregnancy scans.

What will I be able to see during my scan?

During your scan time you will be able to see your images in real time on a large dedicated viewing monitor. Occasionally, you may be asked to lie in a position where this is not possible. During your scan, our Sonographers will explain to you what it is they are imaging.

When and how do I get my results from my private ultrasound scan?

In nearly all cases your scan results will be given to you at the end of your scan appointment in a clear written format with supporting images. Examples of when this may not be possible are when you need to come back for a re-scan or your scan result needs to be combined with a blood test to determine the outcome (result). You can learn more about how we work here

What happens when my scan shows something is wrong?

If your scan outcome (result) is a medical follow-up recommendation, this will be clearly explained as to why at the end of your scan. You will be given a detailed report including images and, unless you specifically request us not to, a copy report will be sent directly to your GP (whose details we take at the time of booking) within 48 hours.

Will my results be confidential?

All legalities and security procedures are in place and your results will not be viewed by any unauthorised person. Your permission is always obtained before we contact your GP if this is a necessary course of action. You may also wish to read our privacy policy here.

What is a first-line ultrasound scan?

As the name implies, it means a “first look” to check for or eliminate very specific conditions and you should always be comfortable in understanding the reasons for having a particular scan. Each of our scan service descriptions explain what we will be looking at during your appointment. If an incidental anomaly not related to your scan specifically is seen during your exam, we still act on our duty of care towards you and report on it. You can learn more about outcomes (results) and how we work here

Is there an upper body weight limit for performing or interpreting ultrasound?

Although there is no exact limit or threshold, the image quality of ultrasound is affected by increased body mass index (BMI) and as such may be reported as a contributing factor. Our Sonographers will always do their best to obtain your images and results however, if  we are unable to obtain clear views due to increased BMI, a report will be provided recommending alternative imaging such as CT or MRI.

Can ultrasound image all parts of the body?

Most, but not all parts. Currently, ultrasound imaging is not very effective for air or gas filled areas and as such is not usually used on lung or gut. Also, typical diagnostic ultrasound imaging energy levels do not travel well through bone thus excluding practical imaging of the brain.

How do I contact Ultrasound Direct?

If you are a client with a question about your scan or you would like to make a booking by phone, please go to our ultrasound direct location page for all clinic telephone numbers and client email enquiry forms.

If you have any feedback regarding a service you have received from Ultrasound Direct please email:

For any other type of enquiry please visit our Contact Us page.

What happens if I bruise following my blood test?

On some occasions a small bruise can occur following your blood test which is not unusual. If the bruising becomes quite large and you are concerned do get in touch with your practice nurse at your GP surgery or contact your midwife. Bruising will normally start to disappear after a few days.

What if I'm late for my scan?

If you are late for your scan appointment, we unfortunately may not be able to provide the service on the day of the booked appointment. If this is the case an alternative date will be offered for the scan appointment & your £30 deposit or free rescan option may be lost.

Book your scan online now




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