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Executive Summary

In July and August 2011, the Society and College of Radiographers (SCoR) surveyed departments delivering nuclear medicine and/or radionuclide imaging services in the UK. The aim of the survey was to obtain reliable data on the professional make-up of those employed in nuclear medicine / radionuclide imaging and the number of vacancies. 40 nuclear medicine / radionuclide imaging departments responded to an online questionnaire covering a range of questions about staffing and vacancy levels. This document presents the results of this survey and the following bullet points highlight the main findings:

  • Nearly half of the workforce delivering nuclear medicine / radionuclide imaging in the responding departments are radiographers.
  • There has been a net increase of 2.1 WTE posts across the 40 responding departments in the last 2 years (less than 1% of the total establishment).
  • The current vacancy rate across all 40 responding departments is 5.0% and the 3 month plus vacancy rate is 2.1%.
  • One fifth of the workforce delivering nuclear medicine / radionuclide imaging in the responding departments is due to retire in the next ten years.
  • Around half of the responding departments report an increase in referrals in the last two years with around half reporting a decrease, indicating that workload appears to have remained steady overall across the responding departments.
  • The most prevalent qualifications held by staff delivering nuclear medicine / radionuclide imaging are post graduate diplomas and diplomas of radionuclide imaging.
  • Respondents were asked to comment on their local situation in relation to the recruitment and retention of the nuclear medicine / radionuclide imaging workforce. The following themes emerged: there are difficulties recruiting staff; and staff delivering nuclear medicine / radionuclide imaging also rotate through other disciplines.

While the response rate is reasonable for a survey of this type, it is possible that there is a bias in the results towards nuclear medicine / radionuclide imaging departments that are part of or closely aligned to clinical radiology departments as all respondents but one reported a workforce that includes radiographers. Previous work by the British Nuclear Medicine Society suggests that there are a number of nuclear medicine / radionuclide imaging departments with no or relatively little radiographer input.

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