SoR releases radiotherapy workforce census to support profession

The census is used by workforce planners, policy-makers and radiotherapy providers to understand job roles, vacancy rates, turnover and more

Published: 02 April 2024 Radiotherapy

The Radiotherapy Radiographic Workforce UK Census 2023 is now live, offering an insight into the Therapeutic Radiographer workforce to help inform policy, highlight challenges and ultimately improve radiotherapy in the UK. 

This data is used by radiotherapy service managers across the country in their workforce planning, and provides important information to clinical boards, government departments, educators, commissioners and radiotherapy providers.

For this year’s census, 57 NHS radiotherapy providers responded to the online questionnaire, representing a response rate of 92 per cent.

Data on the UK radiotherapy radiographic workforce was collected between November 2023 and January 2024 by an online questionnaire distributed to radiotherapy service managers. 

'Evidence of the challenges being faced'

According to the census, the total NHS radiotherapy radiographic workforce stood at 3,750 whole-time equivalent (WTE) staff, of which 3,611 were Therapeutic Radiographers and 139 assistant practitioners and trainees, or clinical support workers.

Charlotte Beardmore, executive director of professional policy for the SoR, said: “Thank you to our service leaders across the UK for completing this important census. The SoR will use the data to lobby government and stakeholders to ensure appropriate investment in services and the therapeutic radiography profession, and so support our members.

“This data will be important during the face to face discussions as we meet with government and the opposition to discuss our manifesto, providing evidence of the challenges being faced.”

Last year is the first time the workforce has seen the vacancy rate decrease since the Society began collecting data this way in 2012 – it fell by 3.8 per cent between 2022 and 2023. For assistant practitioners, trainees and clinical support workers, the vacancy rate stands at 11.6 per cent.

However, it still remains above the vacancy rate for Therapeutic Radiographers in 2020 and 2021.

More data on job title usage, long-term vacancy rate, and apprenticeships can be found in the full census report.

(Image: Charlotte Beardmore, via the SoR)