12 Highlights of 2021 | Part Two

Richard Evans, CEO, continues his reflection of some of the brightest developments of 2021.

Published: 24 December 2021 SoR

Earlier this month for Synergy News, I reflected on 6 of our news highlights that took place this year. I’d now like to share with you the second part of this article, covering 6 more developments that have defined our work this year.

AI guidance

During the summer the Society launched new guidance on the use of AI in radiography as we feel it is essential for radiography teams to understand the key issues and opportunities.

Artificial intelligence: Guidance for clinical imaging and therapeutic radiography workforce professionals’, says AI has the potential to make a ‘profound impact on clinical practice and patient care’. As such, it’s important for the profession to consider how radiographers will use AI and technology to provide better quality services, and crucial that patients and service users inform all development and are partners in research.

I’d like to thank all the members of the AI working group who developed this important piece of work and continue to advocate for AI best practise.

In particular I’d like to highlight Dr Christina Malamateniou, a member of the SoR AI Advisory Group and Programme Director (Postgraduate Taught and Research, MRI) at City University, who recently spoke at RSNA 2021, delivering a session on Artificial Intelligence in the Hands of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy Professionals Part 1: The Current Status of AI in Our Practice.

If you have yet to view our guidance, do visit our Policy and Guidance Document Library.

Inclusive pregnancy guidelines

This new guidance, 'Inclusive pregnancy status guidelines for ionising radiation: Diagnostic and therapeutic exposures', has been developed to assist practitioners in understanding the needs of individuals with gender diversity and those with diversity in their sexual characteristics.

As an organisation we are committed to promoting inclusive practice and we believe behaving in ways that make all people feel included and valued is integral to effective healthcare.

We hope you find the guidance and associated resources (the checklist, patient questionnaires, patient information leaflet and patient poster) helps support you and your services comply with the requirements of the legislative framework governing practice.

This guidance was launched with a live webinar on Wednesday 1 December, if you missed it, you can view the replay here. The event covered:

  • learning how to develop inclusive pregnancy checking procedures  
  • increase confidence in communicating with a gender diverse community
  • understanding how the complexities of gender reassignment influence radiation protection measures
  • learning the fundamentals of respectful and inclusive language

To view the guidance and associated resources, please visit our Policy and Guidance Document Library.

The RePAIR programme

Early in the year we welcomed Nicky Hutton and Mandy Tuckey into the organisation on a six-month secondment to explore how the recommendations from the RePAIR (Reducing Pre-registration Attrition and Improving Retention) project have been disseminated and implemented in England.

For those unfamiliar, RePAIR covers the fields of nursing, midwifery and therapeutic radiography and looks for effective interventions to improve retention across the student journey, e.g. from pre-enrolment to two years post-qualification. The RePAIR recommendations set up what should be done system-wide to improve recruitment and retention.

Nicky and Mandy’s project investigated the recommendations for radiotherapy in education and clinical training providers in England. In summer they gave an update on the outcome of their project and how they planned to move these outcomes forward.

I would like to thank them both for their invaluable work and I look forward to sharing their report in early 2022.

Insight relaunch

Following a short break, autumn saw the relaunch of Imaging and Therapy Practice as a new quarterly publication Insight.

The vision for Insightis to share research, knowledge, and timely evidence of best clinical practice while providing readers with opportunities for CPD relevant to the world of diagnostic radiography and therapeutic radiography.

The emphasis is on practical applications of new ideas to inspire clinical practice, as well as encouraging role development and highlighting advanced practice.

Submissions are welcome from authors with any level of writing experience, while typical contributions include primary research articles, systematic and narrative literature reviews, case studies, posters and communication pieces to report new developments within the profession.

December has been a bumper month for Insight, with a printed Winter Edition and a digital only special Student Edition.

To view the Insight (and Imaging & Therapy Practice) archive, please see here.

QSI relaunch

Autumn also saw the relaunch of the Quality Standard for Imaging (QSI). Developed by our College of Radiographers (CoR) and the Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) the QSI has been designed to support diagnostic imaging services to make continuous improvements ensuring patients consistently receive high quality services delivered by competent staff working in safe environments.

Services meet the Standard through accreditation via an independent third party.

The new relaunched Standard reflects wide consultation with professional colleagues, as well as relevant UK government agencies and regulatory bodies. It has been assessed for use in all four countries of the UK.

To learn more about the recent update and to access QSI resources, please visit the CoR website.

EDI matters

Last year the Society of Radiographers made a commitment to develop as an anti-racist organisation so that we are an inclusive and diverse community, that values and supports all members.

Internally we have been undergoing an EDI audit with our external EDI partner, Challenge Consultancy. In early 2022, we will be in a position to review and share the outcomes of the audit and we look forward to implementing the recommendations with your support.

2021 saw us continue our ‘EDI Matters’ listening events for members as well as a special programme in the summer ‘RADIATE x EDI Matters’. This series, ‘Empathy to Equity’, focused on tackling workplace stress, brought about by non-equitable behaviours.

During August, we explored why compassion matters, what could be holding you back at work, and how to empower yourself and others to become better colleagues, leaders and healthcare professionals.

Alongside Shola Kaye, international speaker on Communication, Inclusive Leadership and Empathy at Work, we devised this programme to help you take ownership of creating a culture of belonging and inclusivity in your workplaces.

Feedback was extremely positive and we are now looking at options for extending this series in 2022.

In other EDI news, autumn saw the relaunch of our EDI network Equalise at their annual general meeting in September 2021. The network has now been restructured to form a number of groups. These groups are designed to be “member led” and to provide a safe space for discussion and debate, ensuring that the Society can hear and benefit from members lived experiences.

The inaugural meetings of these groups took place across November and December 2021, while the next meeting dates are below:

  • 11th January 2022 | Disabled Workers
  • 17th January 2022 | Black Workers Group
  • 26th January 2022 | LGBTQIA+
  • 15th February 2022 | Women Workers
  • 17th February 2022 | Young Workers

The meetings all take place between 19:00 – 20:30 on the dates above, and if you’d like to attend any of them please email: [email protected]

For more info on Equalise, please see their webpages.

Festive greetings 

I hope you have enjoyed these highlights (if you missed part one see here) and I look forward to making new ones in 2022.

I wish you all a restful festive period and a very happy new year.

Richard Evans

CEO | Society and College of Radiographers.