Radiography staff commissions to increase
Health Education England (HEE) has confirmed that diagnostic radiography commissions are set to increase by more than 5% in 2015/16, and therapeutic radiography commissions by more than 11%.
The increases being proposed for radiography are “significant and welcome” according to Charlotte Beardmore, the SCoR Director of Professional Policy.
The HEE document, ‘Investing in People – Workforce Plan for England’, says that ‘therapeutic radiographers are a key part of oncology teams treating patients with cancer.
‘Their role in ensuring that accurate doses of x-rays and other ionising radiation are delivered to the tumour/cancer whilst minimising the dose received by the surrounding tissues, form a critical part of cancer services.
‘The rapid demand for growth for this workforce reflects the significant progress that has been made in using these techniques.’
It also recognises that the ‘rapid growth in demand’ for the diagnostic radiography workforce, ‘operating within radiology and imaging teams, mirrors the significant increases in the volume of different modalities of imaging and scans that the NHS has observed over the past decade.
‘The significant investment made in developing this workforce continues, however we must ensure the growth this training generates continues to represent the right balance of priorities within the wider diagnostic team.’
Charlotte added: “This is important news for the profession. We have been working hard with service providers and educators to ensure that the priorities of the radiography workforce for both clinical imaging and radiotherapy are understood by HEE and we have contributed to both national and local consultations.
“The recommendation to increase commissions for both diagnostic and therapeutic radiography is welcomed by the SCoR,” she continued.
“We are aware that radiographers are able to provide solutions to some of the key challenges across these services, ensuring that patients have access to timely imaging and focused treatments, and will help to support the effective implementation of the new proton service which will require an additional 80 therapeutic radiographers.
“The focus on retention of students in training must continue and innovative solutions will be required to enable these students to have access to high quality clinical placements.”