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One of the first UK consultant radiographers in nuclear medicine

14 May, 2019

Joanne Weekes was ‘lost for words’ when she heard that she was one of the first consultant radiographers in nuclear medicine (radionuclide therapy) in the UK.

Commenting on her new role at the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, which employs five other consultant radiographers, Joanne said: “It has been a long and hard process to get here, with many unsociable hours worked to develop the appropriate clinical skills and knowledge, and strategic planning on developing a robust pathway for the sustainability and development of the role.

“Over last the 18 months,” she continued, “I have had unstinting support from the medical physics and oncology departments, and the analogy of ‘acorn to oak’ comes to mind. At present we are at the sapling stage but are now ready to develop the required support frameworks so future radiographers who specialise in this area of nuclear medicine can have a clearer path.

“As an individual I aim to practise at the leading edge of my particular scope of practice and the profession, extending this where there are proven benefits to service users and improved patient pathways. I hope to provide leadership in relation to clinical practice and the delivery of high quality, patient focused clinical services.”

Joanne believes that the introduction of this role has already been of benefit to local service delivery and the quality of patient care.

“I feel it is imperative that the role is dynamic, adapting to external factors and changing demands. Having been developed for a defined service need, it is important to keep the role under review and to ensure effective succession planning by developing future consultants from the existing advanced practitioner workforce.”

She said, “I must extend my gratitude to Bayer plc for supporting this role for two years whilst I gain accreditation from the SCoR. Many thanks also to my clinical colleagues within the trust (Malcolm Foley, Dr Ian Sayers and Stephen West) for their unstinting support, as well as members of NMAG and the Society and College.”

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