Laura and Ben Gardner of Starlight Ultra pose in there new premises at Crown passage in Hale, in the background are rails of baby clothing


An expert ultrasound and private midwifery clinic has opened at Forward Property Group’s dynamic new retail development Crown Passages in Hale.

Starlight Ultrasound is owned and run by Laura Gardner; a Clinical Specialist Sonographer and senior Registered Midwife.  The clinic offers professional pregnancy and diagnostic scanning services which are underpinned by medical analysis from fully qualified practitioners.

Starlight Ultrasound was established at the start of 2019 and opened its first branch in Bury.  Since launch, Laura and her team, which includes husband Ben and sister Nina, have established a widespread reputation for excellence with clients prepared to travel long distances to access their expertise.

In fact, the high standard of medical support offered by the clinic has seen it awarded ‘essential service’ status throughout each Covid-19 lockdown.

Starlight Ultrasound provides a full range of health scanning services for both male and female clients, such as abdominal and renal scans, aorta scans and gynaecology and pelvis scans.

The clinic also provides comprehensive pre-pregnancy, pregnancy and postnatal care ranging from fertility advice, pregnancy reassurance scans and non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) to a private midwifery service that can run throughout pregnancy and even incorporates home visits and breastfeeding support.

Additionally, Starlight has a boutique stocking baby and toddler clothes, gifts and accessories with items available at both Hale and Bury clinics, as well as online.

According to Ben, who assists Laura as Clinic Manager, Starlight is anything but ‘another souvenir baby scan business’. He says, “Our services go over and above those of a typical baby scan shop because the person conducting your scan is not only a qualified sonographer but also an experienced and fully qualified midwife. This means we can identify potential issues straight away and take appropriate action fast, whether that is arranging a referral or providing appropriate advice and support.

“The demand for our scanning and midwifery expertise is incredibly high and this has been fuelled largely by the impact of Covid-19.  Many local NHS maternity departments are still struggling with staff and budget shortages or have closed completely, all of which affects the speed and availability of services offered to pregnant women when they are most in need of care and reassurance.  Access to abdominal and renal scans is also difficult with some clients being told they must wait 8-10 weeks even in urgent cases. We can provide a written report the same day as the scan and prioritise medically-necessary scans.

“As you can imagine we’re not a 9-5 business.  Even if we’re fully booked or its out of hours, if one of our clients has a genuine concern, and it’s not a medical emergency, we’ll do our best to offer some level of service, which often means a same-day or next-day scan,” he adds.

Starlight Ultrasound is one of the first exciting new enterprises to open within the former Hogan’s Restaurant in Hale village centre. 

After being vacant for some time, Forward Property Group purchased the building in 2018 and commenced a comprehensive programme of refurbishment and redevelopment to transform the building into 11 attractive retail units suited to modern businesses.

The contemporary style of the new premises and its superb position adjacent to the village’s main car park made Crown Passages the perfect choice for Starlight Ultrasound’s second clinic.  Says Ben, “As most of our customers are repeat clients or contact us following a recommendation we have an expanding customer base in the towns and villages of South Manchester and Cheshire so wanted our second clinic to be close to where they are. Hale, and the lovely new premises at Crown Passages, is the perfect location.  We already have clients here and we’re enjoying welcoming other like-minded people looking for the high quality medical services we provide.”

For more information on Starlight Ultrasound visit