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3. Philosophy and Aims

3.1 The aim of an independent service is to provide both the patient and the client (clinician, commissioner or purchaser) with a high quality of service. The service must ensure safe and effective patient care which complies with relevant statutory instruments and clinical governance policies. Of particular relevance are current regulations and advice controlling the use of ionising and other radiations and registration with the Care Quality Commission in England, or, if applicable, its equivalent in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

3.2 Independent practitioners practice in a number of settings ranging across NHS Trusts, Health Boards, local communities and the private sector. Clinical governance will play a key role and places particular emphasis on lifelong learning, professional self-regulation, and the setting, delivering and monitoring of standards. The Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 (IRR99)4 and the Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations and amendments 2005,5 20066 and 20117 will also impact significantly on practice and procedures for ensuring safety. There are fully discussed in SCoR documents relating to radiation protection. 8, 9

3.3 It is in the interest of patients, commissioners and professional staff that the service is of the highest quality. Individual independent practitioners have an over-riding duty to their patients to have due regard to their professional code of conduct in their practice and it is vital that an independent practitioner is not compromised in his/her professional role when dealing with a patient. Indeed, independent practitioners must work within the statutory obligations placed on all healthcare professionals and it is no defence to claim that certain working practices remove professional responsibility from the individual. Independent practitioners must recognise and avoid conditions and practices that are inappropriate and ensure they develop and maintain high quality services at all times.

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