Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Labour has made such a difference to the maternity services in the NHS.
Around the turn of the century it had been suggested that all Scottish NHS maternity units should offer CUBS screening to anyone over the age of 37 as the combination of blood tests and measurements taken of the folds on the baby's neck gave a 90%+ accurate diagnosis of Down's syndrome without any invasive testing such as CVS or amnio. The programme was successful and I was offered this at 37 when I had Léon and 39 when I had Anna. It is obviously even more of a relief now that I am going to be 4 weeks off 42 when I have this baby. So I leaf through all the pamphlets sent to me with my booking visit appointment last month - CVS screening, amnio... Hmmm, no CUBS leaflet. I am of course invited in as I am soooooo old. I ask the head of foetal medicine, who I know by now, for my CUBS appointment and she replies sheepishly that they no longer offer that in Scotland on the NHS. She goes on to explain the people who had been trained to measure the neck folds are so skilled in ultrasound scanning that they have all been poached by the private sector and there are none left working for NHS Scotland. Of course I am completely at liberty to book in to a private clinic and have the test I had free 2 years ago done for a mere £230. These advances in service are stunning, no? I wonder if I'll still be able to have the baby on the NHS by January, or if there'll be a £230 tag on that too by then. Grrrrrr!

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