SCoR Talk The Society of Radiographers

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Monday, February 16, 2015, Issue 127

SCoR wants radioisotopes feedback

nuclear med

The SCoR has welcomed the publication of the Future Supply of Medical Radioisotopes for the UK Report 2014, jointly published by the British Nuclear Medicine Society and Science & Technology Facilities Council.

The document has been written in response to challenges with ensuring a supply of medical radioisotopes, a situation caused by a global shortage of molybdenum-99, from which Technetium-99m (99mTc) is derived.

This is the principal radioisotope used for medical diagnostic imaging, accounting for almost 85% of the global radiopharmaceutical market.

The last shortage was actively managed by the nuclear medicine workforce who demonstrated flexibility and ingenuity in the way they delivered their services in an attempt to ensure that patients were not inconvenienced.

But the shortage is predicted to continue and the aim now is to try and ensure that patients have access to nuclear medicine procedures as and when they need them.

The SCoR was represented as a key stakeholder in the development of the report which examines the current supply chain and challenges, and the technology developments which may support a sustained supply.

It also considers the issues around having a suitable workforce to maintain and deliver a quality service. The workforce in nuclear medicine demonstrates a truly multi-disciplinary approach and identifying the core competencies and demographics for ongoing, reliable services in the face of 7-day services and current technology developments such as PET-CT and PET-MR is essential.

Although the report contains a great deal of technical details, there are excellent summaries of each section and a short summary of 10 recommendations to take forwards. The SCoR will continue to be involved in delivering these recommendations through:

  • Ensuring that we are a key component in the information chain for news on supply problems
  • Maintaining and developing our relationships with the other key organisations who represent and support the current workforce, working together for the benefit of our patients
  • Developing work on a better understanding of the non-medical nuclear medicine workforce to inform sensible and suitable workforce planning for the right skills being available in the right places at the right time.

In addition, the SCoR Nuclear Medicine Advisory Group (NMAG) will play a key role in providing expert input for the development of this work.

We welcome your thoughts on the report and comments on how the SCoR can best support the nuclear medicine workforce in achieving its aims.

For further information or to make any comments please contact Sue Johnson.

Click here to download a PDF of the report.

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