Professional ultrasound practice guidelines updated for 2023

The SoR has worked with the British Medical Ultrasound Society for the eighth year to update professional support

Published: 05 December 2023 Ultrasound

The Society of Radiographers and the British Medical Ultrasound Society have updated the joint Guidelines for Professional Ultrasound Practice.

These associations have now collaborated on thecomprehensive documentfor eight years in a row, working to ensure the most current information and document links were included at the time of writing.

Guidelines in the document aim to support safe, effective and person-centred care for departments, and cover topics including governance and safety, education and accreditation, introduction to examination, ultrasound clinical examinations, and additional procedures.

Gill Harrison, professional officer for ultrasound at SoR, said: "The SoR and BMUS Guidelines have been developed over many years and are a useful resource for any ultrasound practitioner to find resources and guidance on a range of topics relating to safe, effective ultrasound practice and service requirements. This year we have made minor updates to include new guidance documents that have been published in the last year. 

"We hope the guidance is useful to members of both organisations for CPD, supporting them to meet current best practice and expanding or improving their services in a safe and effective way for patients, service users and staff."

'Evolving technology and practice'

Evidence in this area continues to evolve, and so the SoR strongly recommends the guidance is reviewed in relation to local policy, current evidence, and risk assessment.

Wendy Williams, member of the Ultrasound Advisory Group in the SoR, said it is a “testament to the quality of the original guidelines that the current edition remains relatively unchanged.”

Ms Williams added: “The advice is as equally sound and relevant today as it was then. Guidelines, however, need to keep in step with evolving technology, changes in practice and professional progression.

“As with all previous editions, these guidelines are not designed to be prescriptive but to inform good practice. May they continue to be used in departments across the United Kingdom for years to come.”

This latest edition, SoR and British Medical Ultrasound Society (BMUS) 'Guidelines for Professional Ultrasound Practice,' is a web-based document that can be regularly updated, amended and expanded as and when required.

Examples of best practice

Since the first publication of the United Kingdom Association of Sonographers (UKAS) 'Guidelines for Professional Working Practice' in 1993, service provision, technology and patient expectations in medical ultrasound have been transformed, the guidance document explains.

This eighth edition covers the sonographer’s code of practice, potential medical and legal issues as well as professional responsibilities, alongside avenues for education, quality standards, and continuing professional development. 

The examination-specific section, including guidelines and common clinical scenarios, has been compiled by the BMUS Professional Standards Group and is presented as examples of best practice. They have been included so departments can use them as a basis to generate their own examination protocols when there are no nationally agreed ones available. 

There are also sections giving general guidance and advice, including reporting and audit.

The 54th Annual Scientific Meeting of the British Medical Ultrasound Society is currenty taking place from the 5-7 December this year, in York. The conference, 'Pushing the Boundaries of Medical Imaging,' will cover such educational sessions as obstetrics, MSK, professional issues, point of care ultrasound, gynaecology, head and neck, thoracic, vascular, and general medical and paediatrics.

There will also be practical and special educational sessions running throughout the three-day event.

The SoR and BMUS would like to thank all who have contributed to this new online edition of what was previously the UKAS Guidelines.

Read the full document here. 

(Image: Izusek via GettyImages)