Image-guided radiotherapy training scheme set up

'Passport' will help qualified staff move between hospitals

Published: 26 November 2021 Radiotherapy

A NEW training scheme for practitioners in image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) is being developed in London to enable radiographers to acquire new skills while in post.

The Verification Image Guided Passport (VIP) will consist of blended learning of theoretical and practical aspects of IGRT.

The standard of training will be sufficiently robust so that the trainee can easily apply their knowledge and skills to any department while working to local IGRT protocols.

Project manager and therapeutic radiographer Terri Barnes said the VIP scheme would cut the need for radiographers to recomplete IGRT competencies.

‘The passport project is an important initiative because it will enable staff to transfer their knowledge and skills from department to department without needing to retrain, which will reduce the burden on trainers and trainees. This means staff can get stuck in to their clinical work and not have the frustration of needing to retrain.’

The comprehensive package will account for different techniques and equipment. It is intended that the VIP will be adopted as a national standard training package once proof of the concept has been delivered in London.

The VIP initiative began at a meeting of London managers. A steering group was formed as a collaboration between four higher education institutions providing radiotherapy training and 12 NHS and private hospitals delivering radiotherapy across the capital.

The steering group is creating a robust IGRT training package, which therapeutic radiographers can complete while working across London hospitals. This enables an easy transition between hospitals that have recognised lists of IGRT competencies, reducing the training burden on departments and therapeutic radiographers.

The scheme is based on the chemotherapy nurses’ Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy (SACT) competency passport, which has been adopted nationally. The funding for the VIP project was sourced from Health Education England.

Terri has been seconded to Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust for 10 months to deliver the project as the radiotherapy verification and imaging passport project manager.