February '12 - Legal requirement for ALL ultrasound providers to be CQC registered.

February Following continued illegal trading by unregulated "4D Baby Scan" type companies and the advertising of such via online baby scan directories and group buying sites, Ultrasound Direct has sought clarification from the Care Quality Commission via the Society of Radiographers (SCoR).

Pregnant women in England continue to be preyed upon by illegal companies offering entertainment ultrasound scans. Misleading websites and brochures using terms such as "entertainment only" and "non-diagnostic" have been used as an excuse not to register, whilst "too good to be true" prices are often achieved by using non-professional or untrained staff, not obtaining professional indemnity insurance and buying incorrectly set up ultrasound equipment from overseas.

Registration was mandatory from October 2010 for all individuals, companies and trading entities and neither Doctors or Midwives are exempt from registration.

Due to the risks posed to the unborn child and the illegal nature of these practices, Ultrasound Direct has lobbied hard to have ultrasound services regulated and welcomes this latest update.

The Society of Radiographers sought clarification from the CQC and their statement is as follows: 

"Providers carrying out ultrasound in order to examine the body are required to register with the CQC — as this falls within the definition of the regulated activity 'diagnostic and screening procedures'.  This is regardless of whether the ultrasound is to examine the body for entertainment purposes or otherwise. The name of the regulated activity that it falls within may have misled some providers, but the use of ultrasound to examine the body for any purpose is regulated.

"If you are aware of any providers who are carrying out ultrasound and are not registered with us, or providers you suspect are not registered with us, or indeed providers about whom you or your members have concerns, then we would be grateful if you could let us know the details. You can contact us via email or through the website ."

SCoR also stated:
"Some providers state in their advertising that the 3D/4D scan is purely for entertainment purposes, is not diagnostic and that no written report will be issued should a maternal or fetal problem be apparent. Although we have no evidence that SCoR members are involved in this type of provision, were this to be the case they would be operating outside of the SCoR’s Code of Conduct and Ethics and of its Professional Indemnity Insurance".
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