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Diagnostic imaging professionals back call to speed up test results

14 November 2014

SCoR Chief Executive Richard EvansThe healthcare professionals who take the scans to identify injury and disease have added their voice to demands for an investigation as why it is taking too long for patients to receive the results of tests.

“There is no doubt that in some parts of the UK patients are suffering unnecessarily while they wait for the results of diagnostic examinations that can take an unacceptably long time to be reported,’ said Richard Evans, the Chief Executive Officer of the Society and College of Radiographers.

“Early diagnosis of cancer and other serious conditions is critical.”

His comment follows a snapshot survey by the Royal College of Radiologists which shows that patients are waiting more than 30 days to receive results from x-ray, CT and MRI scans.

“We agree with the royal college’s request for more radiologists but we would also remind the NHS and the Department of Health that there are qualified and trained reporting radiographers who should be employed more productively and who can help meet some of the demand for quicker reporting,” Richard Evans said.

“There are many NHS trusts and health boards which are not using staff and resources that they already have which could be used now to reduce waiting times for scan results. Also, this is the perfect opportunity to train more reporting radiographers to do this work and improve services to patients.”

The RCR estimates that some 300,000 patients are waiting more than 30 days before they are told the outcome of an x-ray examination and the results of 6000 MRI and CT scans are delayed. All three diagnostic procedures are used to detect cancer and other serious illnesses.

“Patients and their families deserve an efficient and timely imaging service. Yes, we need more radiologists but hospitals also need to observe best practice that says reporting radiographers should be employed to share the workload when and where it is required,” Richard Evans said.

The radiographers back the RCR’s suggestion that the NHS publishes up-to-date and transparent statistics about the time it takes for the results of diagnostic procedures to be reported.

Ends

Notes for Editor

1. The SoR represents 28,000 people who work in diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy for the treatment of cancer. More than 19,000 radiographers work in the NHS. 2. Nine out of 10 patients see a radiographer during their time in hospital. 3. For further information please contact Richard Evans on 020 7740 7202, or 0783 446 7723, or Dominic Deeson on 0795 784 5238 / 01227 469060.

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