"No immediate case" to introduce sonographer regulation

SoR chief executive Richard Evans receives response to a letter he sent to the health secretary in November

Published: 19 July 2022 Ultrasound

Responding to a letter from the SoR and signed by other professional organisations asking for urgent consideration of sonographer regulation, junior health minister Edward Agar said that “the Government recognises the important role sonographers play in providing ultrasound services to patients and the need for continues growth of a more flexible and adaptive healthcare workforce” but said there was "no immediate case to change the [professional] groups that are regulated",

The response reiterated the Government’s stance on proportionate regulation of health and social care professionals and are currently awaiting the report from a consultation that ended in March 2022 looking at ‘healthcare regulation: deciding when statutory regulation is appropriate’.

The SoR responded to this consultation as did the College of Radiographers’ patient advisory group.

Agar reported the Government’s view “that there is no immediate case to change the groups that are regulated. the consultation asked how the powers to introduce and remove professions from regulation might be used in the future and sought views on the proposed criteria to make decisions on which professions should be regulated, whether there are regulated professions that no longer require statutory regulation and whether there are unregulated professions that should be brought into statutory regulation."

Signatories to the letter included the Association of Child Protection Professionals, British Medical Ultrasound Society, British Society of Echocardiography, College of Radiographers Patient Advisory Group, Consortium for the Accreditation of Sonographic Education, Royal College of Midwives, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Royal College of Radiologists and the Society of Vascular Technologists.

The response to the consultation is not due until later in the year. The Society says it is "disappointing" that sonographer regulation is no closer, particularly as the letter highlighted cases where patient safety was at risk from unregulated ultrasound practice.

In the meantime, the SoR continues to work closely with Health Education England, other profesisonal bodies and organisations to ensure that the career pathway, progression routes and educational standards are as high as possible to continue to provide high quality ultrasound services and protection for patients.