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Monday, June 17, 2019, Issue 80

Almost 1 in 10 diagnostic posts are vacant

More than 9% of diagnostic radiographer posts are unfilled, according to the 2018 census of the workforce.

The newly published survey says, “Of the 89 respondents, 82 (92%) report vacant radiographic workforce posts and 74 report vacancies that have existed for three months or longer.”

England was found to have the highest vacancy rate in the UK with close to 10%, followed by Scotland with 6%, Northern Ireland at 4% and Wales with 3%.

Sue Webb, SoR president, ‘urged’ service leaders to work with stakeholders to develop ‘clear plans to support the growth of the workforce’ to meet the needs of the population.

She said, “We have fewer MRI and CT scanners per capita than most OECD countries, yet, the number of patients referred for diagnostic tests has risen by over 25% over the last five years.

“Delivering an effective, high-quality service requires investment in new equipment and staff."

She continued, “Timely imaging and reporting is essential in delivering efficient patient pathways, and supporting the goal of improving outcomes for patients. Sufficient workforce is required to support this goal.”

The ‘rapidly changing’ working environment of the profession was mentioned by multiple respondents to the survey as a reason for low retention and recruitment rates.

The census looks at the size, structure, nature and vacancy rate of the workforce to inform planning, comparing results analysis to similar censuses from September 2014, May 2016 and November 2017.

The full report can be downloaded from the SoR Policy and Guidance Document Library.

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