The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has asked for evidence on the regulation of UK professionals generally and the SCoR believes this is an ideal opportunity to highlight the regulation of sonographers.
The issue was reviewed by the Professional Standards Authority in February 2019 in its report, ‘Right-touch assurance for sonographers based on risk of harm arising from practice’. The authority did not recommend regulation of sonographers because ‘most of those practising as sonographers are already regulated in other professional roles and they hold post-graduate qualifications.
However, a range of new direct-entry programmes have been developed within the UK, and other education providers are looking into similar direct-entry models for sonography. This, along with additional international recruitment to meet the increasing demands on the ultrasound service, has led to higher numbers of non-statutory regulated sonographers entering the UK workforce.
Non-regulated sonographers are unable to ‘administer medicines under Patient Group Directions, including using contrast agents’ and ‘unable to train as supplementary prescribers or refer patients for clinical imaging involving ionising radiation’ (PSA 2019). Additionally they would be unable to undertake the Advanced Clinical Practice Apprenticeship because this requires registration with a statutory regulator for health and care professionals, which could limit their career development opportunities.
The BEIS wants to hear feedback from individuals, businesses and organisations that interact with all aspects of regulated professions. The consultation ends on 23 October 2020 and we would urge you to consider completing the feedback form here.
Image: AJ Photo/Science Photo Library