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9. General comments

Respondents were asked to comment on their local situation in relation to the recruitment and retention of the nuclear medicine / radionuclide imaging workforce. The responses are varied in nature. However, the following themes do emerge:

  • There are difficulties recruiting staff (mentioned by 8 respondents); and
  • Staff delivering nuclear medicine / radionuclide imaging also rotate through other disciplines (mentioned by 4 respondents).

All the general comments made are given below in full:

  • Although there are 3 WTE radiographers we work single handed in the department, the physicist provides backup for injections etc. We rotate through the other scanners in the department (MRI,CT) working in NM one (1) month in three (3).
  • Fully staffed and fairly stable.
  • Have had trouble recruiting permanent staff in a small dept.
  • It is difficult to provide training for other radiology staff due to workload pressures hence in times of leave and sickness we have no competent cover or back up staff.
  • Lack of progression to include reporting. Jobs that become vacant are not to be replaced.
  • Lack of variety of examinations, cost of courses makes it difficult to encourage radiographers to do any post graduate nuclear medicine courses.
  • My department use staff who work rotationally through the rest of the imaging department. NM is not seen as a high priority -CT /US [Ultrasound] /MRI come first yet we pick up the pieces when the rest cannot accommodate. There needs to be more introductory courses into NM to help with training. There is little incentive as career progression is limited.
  • Need to purchase new equipment and invest in future technology if we are to recruit and retain staff.
  • No national Nuclear Medicine Assistant Practitioner programme (Beacon project for MRI APs [assistant practitioners]). No financial or clinical support for radiographer reporting which hinders recruitment and retention in this area and now due to low numbers, no national NM reporting course. Catch 22.
  • Our Nuclear Medicine dept is a speciality within a Radiology dept, therefore we only employ Radiographers so that they can be rostered into other areas within Radiology. Unfortunately, this also means that the staff are used to cover areas that are short staffed because our managers do not understand how Nuclear Medicine works and do not prioritise Nuclear Medicine as a speciality itself. It is very difficult to recruit staff who are Radiographers with an interest in Nuclear Medicine as there are so few out there. We do not receive support from Radiology assistants or administration staff and the managers do not see a need to recruit them into Nuc Med.
  • Recruitment to the east of the county generally problematic. It appears that a large proportion of staff employed travel to the hospital for distances upwards of 50 miles.
  • Retention is good - longstanding workforce. Unable to recruit at present due to financial situation. If current members of staff retire it will be difficult to get approval to recruit at present. Hopefully this will improve in next 10 years due to numbers eligible to retire!
  • There needs to be investment in staff training in relation to future PET service. There needs to be a hybrid NM/CT professional locally who can do CT and NM and then cover for either modality during sickness etc.
  • There will be a lack of experience as staff retire. Roles are being banded lower and pressure on existing staff banding-wise. Difficult service to staff due to wide service requirements to cover.
  • Unable to recruit experienced NM radiographers from external source in the last couple of years - no applicants to vacancies. Need to train internal candidates.
  • Unable to recruit NM Radiologist on one site (of two) therefore no lead on site (cover from other site).
  • Under staffed at present, but financial constraints limiting factor. New physicist post advertised.
  • We aim to succession plan from our Band 6 workforce. There is a 15% pay premia in place for existing staff. There is no pay premia for new recruits or internal promotions which has resulted in difficulty in recruiting to the vacancy.
  • We carry out the benign thyroid work (131I for thyrotoxicosis) and have set up a radiographer led service. I hope that this can be developed further.
  • We get Physics support from [other location] approx 1 day per 2 months. Isotopes delivered 3 times per week from [other location].

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