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4. Guideline development process

4.1 The core group

The core group was brought together in November 2013 by the SCoR professional officer for policy, guidance and advice, under the direction of the DPP. The core group leader appointed is an independent education consultant and experienced academic radiographer and senior manager.  Other members of the core group were a diagnostic radiographer who is a clinical-academic researcher with expertise in dementia, and the professional officer (policy guidance and advice). 

4.2 The stakeholder group

The stakeholder group comprised 20 members; 7 clinical radiographers, 6 academic radiographers, 5 student radiographers and 2 service users. They were drawn from both imaging and radiotherapy communities across the UK. The service users were from the SCoR Public and Patient Liaison Group (PPLG) and other group members either volunteered or came forward as a result of an appeal in Synergy News, which is the SCoR monthly magazine.  The names of both core and stake holder group members are listed at the end of the document.

4.3 Peer review and consultation process and outcomes

A first draft of the recommendations was circulated to the stakeholder group for comment on 5th March 2014. Sixteen of the original 20 stakeholders responded and their comments were reviewed at core group meetings on 24th March and 2nd April 2014. In addition to the individual responses from lay members of the stakeholder group, two members of the core group attended the PPLG on 24th March to update them on progress to date and seek further feedback and support. 

The comments were overwhelmingly positive with no dissent. Some stakeholders suggested additions because they did not appreciate that the recommendations should arise from the evidence. There was one negative response; the individual concerned questioned the need for a guideline that spelt out in detail how radiographers should care for patients. She interpreted it as an attack on their professionalism. The core group discussed this at their meeting on 24th March. They took the view that the author had misinterpreted the purpose of the recommendations and the core group leader responded appropriately. 

The revised recommendations were merged with the draft practice guideline and this document received two separate expert external appraisals during May 2014. It was sent to The Alzheimer’s Society for scrutiny and comment, which was also positive. After this, both the practice guideline and draft process manual were reviewed by an independent editorial consultant at a meeting with the DPP and core group. Following this, further improvements were made to both documents. 

The finalised practice guideline was sent to three external reviewers, none of whom had had anything to do with its development. The reviewers completed a profoma (Process Manual Appendix H) and signed the conflict of interest declaration. The responses were considered by the core group and the final guideline document produced for UK Council approval.    

4.4 Funding arrangements

The core group leader is an external contractor; an independent education consultant from a consultancy services company. She was paid as per contract. The clinical academic researcher was paid specifically to undertake the literature review but gave the remaining time to the core group voluntarily. Stakeholder group members and external reviewers gave their time and expertise voluntarily. 

4.5   Conflict of interest 

The SCoR policy and procedures for managing conflicts of interest was adhered to (Process Manual Appendix G). Members of the stakeholder group and external reviewers have signed ‘conflict of interest’ declarations and a list of their names and affiliations is appended. No conflicts of interest were declared. The declarations are available for public scrutiny. 

4.6 SCoR approval process

The finalised practice guideline received approval from the UK Council of the SCoR in November 2014.

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