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Thursday, July 25, 2019, Issue 180

Sonographers' direct and critical influence on patient care 'not recognised'

The Society has written to Health Education England expressing dismay following the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) decision to not recommend statutory regulation for sonographers. 

In a letter to Professor Elizabeth Hughes, the chair of the HEE's Integrated Imaging Workforce Working Group, the SCoR said it is 'extremely disappointed' and questioned why the PSA 'would overturn the recommendations of their own internal panel.' 

Signed by Charlotte Beardmore, the Society's director of professional policy, the letter talks about the difference the decision will make to new recruits to the profession: "It will be difficult to advise any potential student to commit perhaps tens of thousands of pounds in training to be a sonographer and not have a full career structure available to them. This is in addition to being considered unsuitable for employment by 65% of providers." (A finding from the recently published ultrasound workforce census).

The SCoR also raised strong concerns regarding patient safety, saying, "Sonographers work with vulnerable and complex patients, conduct intimate examinations such as endovaginal scans and work in significantly litigious fields of practice, ie obstetric imaging. They have a direct and critical influence on patient care which the PSA do not seem to have recognised."

The letter closes by asking for confirmation whether the PSA recommendation will be accepted by HEE.

The Society is waiting for a response from Professor Hughes.

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