Society launches ‘A manifesto for tomorrow’s NHS’
Key health figures from the three main political parties spoke at the launch of the Society’s political manifesto at the House of Commons.
Introduced by SoR President Karen Smith and CEO Richard Evans, the document sets out the SCoR’s aspirations for diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy services and their expectations from the government that will be elected in less than a hundred days at the General Election.
All three speakers – Dr Dan Poulter, Minister for Health (Conservative); Paul Burstow, a former Minister for Care and Support (Liberal Democrat); and Andy Burnham, Shadow Secretary of State for Health (Labour) – welcomed the Society’s document and praised the ‘significant’ role of radiographers in health and patient care.
The event was hosted by Clive Efford MP, who noted that nine out of 10 patients who attend hospital will be seen by a radiographer for diagnosis or treatment.
The Society’s manifesto calls on the next government to recognise radiographers’ input in a number of key areas including patient safety, advocacy, quality, research and education.
The document also contains nine ‘Role of the Radiography Workforce’ sheets explaining what radiographers do in different clinical settings such as image interpretation, ultrasound, A&E, cardiac services, and stroke management.
Earlier in the day, Andy Burnham had launched the Labour Party's health manifesto. He said that health professionals needed “time and stability to do their jobs”. Labour were not proposing a new round of NHS reorganisation if they win the next election.
It was important to develop a 'political consensus’ over the NHS, he said. The focus of the next parliament should be on improving care and early diagnosis.
Dan Poulter noted that demand for imaging continues to grow year-on-year.
“It is a tribute to your hard work that while over a million and a half diagnostic tests were performed by radiographers last year, only 1% of patients have to wait more than six weeks for their test results,” he said.
“That statistic is down to the professionalism and dedication of everyone here and of the radiography workforce as a whole. You play a key role in ensuring our NHS delivers the care which the public deserve and expect.”
Paul Burstow echoed many of the comments made by the other two politicians and, like them, he did not see another reorganisation of the NHS as being “desirable or helpful”.
Both Karen Smith and Richard Evans said that the Society wanted to collaborate with politicians and have the opportunity to help shape health policy and the delivery of services.
Karen commented that it was 30 years since she first stepped into a radiography department and she looks forward to the next 30 years and the second half of her career.
Click here to view a short video of the manifesto launch.