SoR launches Radiography Manifesto for world-class health service

The Society of Radiographers has launched its manifesto to put forward its “practical, realistic” solutions to the workforce crisis

Published: 05 March 2024 News

The Society of Radiographers has launched its new Radiography Manifesto for a world-class health and social care system, developed in consultation with members across the UK. 

This manifesto, launched at an event held at Parliament on Tuesday 5 March, offers “practical, realistic and positive solutions” to the workforce crisis in the NHS, outlining the “critical interventions” necessary to stabilise and rebuild the service.

Importantly, radiographers play a central role in this rebuilding – this manifesto hopes in part to help MPs and decision-makers understand the depths of the workforce crisis afflicting radiography departments, and how it can be solved.

Common thread

The manifesto has separate versions for each of the devolved nations, representing the unique and specific factors affecting the issues in those regions.

However, the Society explained the “common thread” is the need to secure enough staff with the right skill mix to meet the continuing rising demand for imaging and radiotherapy treatment.

Radiographers are central to addressing the ever-growing NHS waiting lists. More than 1 million people are waiting for scans. Over 20 per cent are waiting more than six weeks, with over 70,000 waiting over 13 weeks.

Key commitments

The new manifesto includes five key commitments:

  • Commit to inflation-proof pay awards and pay restoration to 2008 levels
  • Ensure increasing demand can be met now and into the future, with strategic diagnostic and therapeutic radiography workforce planning
  • Enable people to enter, develop and progress within the radiography profession safely, from entry level support workers to advanced and consultant radiographer practitioners
  • Ensure safe working practices, adequate staffing numbers and skills mix to maintain a safe service for patients and staff in all areas of radiography
  • Provide adequate funding for a world-class health and social care system throughout the UK

The manifesto says: “To increase the diagnostic and therapeutic radiography workforce to meet the increasing demand on the NHS, we want action now to start restoring the pay to appropriate levels.

“This must be coupled with a workforce plan that delivers the number of radiographers and associated professionals needed now and in the future. To do this requires effective planning, delivery, and investment in the different pathways that people can choose to enter, develop and progress within the profession. All this must be aligned with steps to guarantee safe working practices in the interests of both staff and patients.

“To make this sustainable, we want to see a political consensus on the level of funding and desired outcomes required for a world-class health and social care system in the UK.”

The manifesto can be read in full here.