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10. Operational Policy

10.1 Independent practitioners are required under health and safety legislation to have a written operational policy which embraces all aspects of their work.
Suitable and sufficient risk assessments must be undertaken. The working environment must be safe and must comply with all statutory health and safety requirements under the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974),18 the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999) 19 and the Ionising Radiation Regulations and amendments.5-9 The following section identifies areas that need to be covered.

10.2 All work must be monitored and verified in order to provide an efficient audit system.

10.3 A dose reduction policy, specifying appropriate mechanisms for ensuring that the dose to the patient is kept as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA principle), must be established when ionising radiation is being employed. Similarly with ultrasound, the British Medical Ultrasound Society safety statements should be followed:

For magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, independent practitioners should follow the advice given in the SCoR document entitled ‘Safety in Magnetic Resonance Imaging’ (2013).20

Supply, administration and prescribing of medicines (including contrast agents) must be done within the current legislation and reference should be made to published SCoR advice.21

10.4 Where independent practitioners have a direct role in the procedure, there should be a protocol for reporting and interpretation of images and a framework of supervision for advice and guidance.

10.5 There should be recognition of agreed referral sources.

10.6 Practice should be evidence-based.

10.7 There should be protocols concerning all aspects of health and safety for patients, staff and members of the public, including those pertaining to the safe use of ionising and non-ionising radiation to ensure personal safety.

10.8 There should be due regard to quality assurance including safety, inspection and testing of equipment and the appropriate quality assurance procedures.

10.9 There must be a comprehensive training and development strategy. Independent practitioners must be aware of their professional responsibility to keep their practice current with respect to equipment/techniques and dose reduction/minimisation methods.  Independent practitioners should record all relevant continuing professional development (CPD) activities in accordance with the CPD policy of SCoR and the statutory requirements of the HCPC or other regulatory bodies.

10.10 There should be a clear policy on the information to be issued to patients.

10.11 There should be a regular review of all equipment and an equipment replacement programme should be established.

10.12 There should be declared, unambiguous and acceptable levels of care for patients including statements on relationships, standards and facilities.

10.13 Patient/client confidentiality must be maintained at all times.

10.14 There should be due regard to ethical standards.

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