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Since publication of the first version of the Education and Professional Development (EPD) Strategy1 in 2002, many changes have been implemented in the delivery of healthcare. Shorter waiting times and strategies around access and choice for patients mean that the workforce needs to be efficient and effective in the delivery of healthcare services. Devolution of the responsibility for healthcare policy in the UK will inevitably result in differing policies, priorities and methods of delivery. Just as policy may differ throughout the UK, clinical imaging and radiotherapy services may involve a variety of healthcare providers: the National Health Service, the independent and private sectors, voluntary and charitable organisations.

This new document  supersedes the version Education & Professional Development: Moving Ahead2 first published in 2003 and revised in 2006.  Many of the principles of practice that were outlined in that document are still relevant. As in the previous document, for patients, staff and employers to benefit from the opportunities outlined, continual development, growth and embedding of professional skills and culture are essential. Just as professional development is required to support service delivery, the profession must work closely with employers to identify adequate resources to support development opportunities and to ensure that effort and skills are properly rewarded. Delivery of the strategy outlined in this new guidance cannot be achieved without the support of the profession as a whole.

For radiographers and the wider clinical imaging and radiotherapy and oncology workforce, implementation of the strategy will mean:

  • patient and public expectations about locally based care will be better met
  • opportunities for the workforce to develop new roles. These may include work and functions previously undertaken by radiologists, oncologists and other members of the healthcare team
  • opportunities to provide more coherent services including those based in primary care and community settings
  • greater skill mix and enhanced leadership opportunities
  • involvement  in planning of services within the local health care community
  • enhanced opportunities to develop image interpretation, image reporting and decision making skills
  • enhanced opportunities to be involved in the clinical management of radiotherapy and oncology patients
  • key roles in prescribing
  • key roles related to referral for imaging and/or treatment
  • faster patient discharges from episodes of care

Gill Dolbear
President, Society and College of Radiographers 2009 -2010

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