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3. Relationships with Professional Staff

You are obliged to co-operate with carers, other healthcare professionals, hospital staff and social care professionals. You should seek to understand and respect their responsibilities, needs, skills and working practices to ensure the best interests of all service users and avoid inappropriate criticism of them.

3.1 Collaborative practice/collegiality

Frequently, you may work as part of a multi-professional team and you need to respect the skills, knowledge and contributions of colleagues from other professions and other team members. You should communicate openly and effectively with team members, acknowledge their individual roles and avoid inappropriate criticism of them.

3.2 Responsibility for peer behaviour

Radiographers and the wider radiography workforce have responsibilities within the work environment to ensure the health and safety of service users and should seek to avert any inappropriate activity of colleagues or others. If you have a patient-safety concern, you must ensure you are aware of the procedures for ‘whistle blowing’ and must report serious breaches of behaviour and malpractice.

The Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) 1998 which came into force in July 1999 encourages people to raise concerns about malpractice in the workplace and will help ensure that the organisation responds by addressing the message rather than the messenger and resist the temptation to cover up serious malpractice.

You are covered by the Act and employing authorities will have a written policy outlining the Act and provide processes and stages for the reporting of suspected malpractice.

Malpractice includes, amongst other things, negligence, incompetence, breach of contract, unprofessional behaviour, danger to health and safety or the environment and the cover up of any such issues.

Should you have a reasonable belief that a malpractice has occurred, is occurring or is likely to occur, you must approach a manager or senior professional with your concerns and follow the employing authority’s procedures. Concerns you may have about staffing levels which may compromise patient safety must also be reported.

You should not use ‘whistle blowing’ procedures to resolve a personal or business dispute.

You are encouraged to contact the SCoR and the Health Professions Council (HPC) for guidance about any malpractice concerns.

3.3 Referrals

Radiographers may accept requests for clinical imaging from named, non-medically qualified, registered healthcare professionals who are acting in the capacity of referrer under IR(ME)R, provided that an up to date list of individuals entitled to act as a referrer is established, maintained and made available to radiographers by the employer. The referrer is required to have an understanding of IR(ME)R through appropriate training and experience. Further information is available from Clinical imaging requests from non-medically qualified professionals (RCN, SCoR 2007)10. Where an individual undergoes an exposure following an invitation to attend an authorised national screening programme, there is no requirement for a named referrer.

In the role of IR(ME)R practitioner, radiographers must take the responsibility for the justification of a medical exposure and should refuse the referral if the procedure cannot be justified. Where and when appropriate, the radiographer should propose the use of a procedure involving non-ionizing radiation.

3.4 Delegation

If you delegate clinical procedures (eg, radiographers delegating to students or assistant practitioners), you must satisfy yourself that that person is competent to carry out the procedure; you will retain ultimate responsibility for the manner in which the delegated task is performed.

You must provide supervision commensurate with the level of competence of the person to whom the procedure is delegated.

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