HOSPITAL trust bosses have issued assurances that any profits made on keepsake photographs of unborn children are ploughed back into healthcare.
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust made £28,060 from the souvenir photographs of ultrasound scans in 2011-12, £5,145 of which was profit.
But trust chiefs say the 38p surplus made from each photograph is spent on patient care.
The trust provides ultrasound scans at the University Hospital of Hartlepool, in Holdforth Road, Hartlepool, Peterlee Community Hospital, in O’Neill Drive, Peterlee, and at the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton.
It charges £2.50 per photo, with 42p as VAT and 32p profit.
But a trust spokeswoman said: “The photo is an inexpensive memento nobody has to have, but a lot of people choose to have it.
“When we deduct our costs, including staffing time, film, stationery and other overheads, this means we make a 38p surplus from each scan. “This contributes to the cost of patient care in the radiology department, which is responsible for the scans.”
Ultrasound scans are typically taken at 12 and 20 weeks into a pregnancy and after the scan, parents can buy a copy as a memento.