SoR leaders in Westminster to raise key issues for radiography professionals

MPs questioned on support for leaders, sonography registration and the 'missing' NHS workforce plan

Published: 08 June 2023 Trade Union & IR

The SoR had a strong presence at the latest meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Diagnostics in Westminster, chaired by Maggie Throup MP.

The meeting centred around a very wide-ranging and impressive presentation from Peter Johnson, NHS England's National Clinical Director for cancer.

In questions and answers, SoR Executive Director Charlotte Beardmore asked for more funding and support for leadership, citing their central importance in supporting the growth of the sonography workforce.

Charlotte also made the point that regulation for sonographers would assist leaders whilst also boosting recognition for a vital part of the imaging workforce.

Sonographer shortage

Peter was supportive of both points, recognising that sonographers are especially critical because their reports are “live” and “in the moment”, and acknowledging the pressures in the system due to sonographer shortages. He suggested regulation could help increase numbers by opening a pathway for direct entry to sonography.

Fellow SoR Executive Director Dean Rogers asked the meeting when the long-awaited NHS workforce strategy would be published and whether it would amount to "an actual strategy, with costed plans to track and meet forecast demand and staffing needs".

The hopes around the workforce strategy had been cited several times by Peter and others, including when discussing community diagnostic centres. MPs present from the three largest English political parties all agreed this was overdue and would be important. The SoR will continue to press on all of these points using this and other APPG meetings, and its widening political influence.