Our maternity ultrasound departments at Queen Charlotte's & Chelsea and St Mary's hospitals perform all ultrasound scans for women that book their maternity care with the Trust. All women are offered a dating scan at around 12 weeks, with the option of Down's syndrome screening, and a 20-week screening scan between 18 weeks and 20 weeks and six days. Additional scans are performed at the request of your midwife or doctor for reasons that are specific to your individual pregnancy.

Our hospitals are making changes to help respond to coronavirus and protect our patients, staff and visitors. Key changes for maternity ultrasound services are as follows:

Maternity appointments and scans update

One named support person can attend appointments and ultrasound scans for the following:

Please do not bring children or any other family members to your scan, otherwise your appointment may need to be rebooked.

All visitors must wear a surgical (blue and white) face mask (available at the front entrance) at all times while inside our hospitals, follow social-distancing rules and if your named support person is coming with you for your scan, they should remain with you throughout your time in hospital.


Your named support person will be asked to wait in a separate area or outside until your appointment begins and will be called in. 


  • We will contact you to discuss any changes to your upcoming appointment, otherwise please attend as planned
  • You may be offered a phone or video consultation to replace your upcoming appointment but we will discuss this with you first
  • If you have a glucose tolerance test booked, please come to the hospital for your appointment

Conditions and treatments

Ultrasound scans use high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of your baby inside the womb. This is done by building up pictures from the return of sound waves as they bounce back from resistance they meet within your body.

Ultrasound waves are sent to and from the body using a handheld sensor (transducer), which is moved over the surface of your abdomen. The scans are painless and do not involve x-rays. The sonographer will explain the findings of your scan to you and there is a secondary monitor so that you and your partner can view your scan. You can also buy an image of your baby to take home.

In addition to our regular maternity ultrasound scans, we offer 3D/4D scans of your baby, which offer moving images of your baby. Please note that there is a charge associated with this additional service.

Further online resources