U.K. groups call for action on sonographer regulation

2020 11 25 17 48 7561 Doctor Ultrasound Keyboard 400

The U.K. Society of Radiographers (SoR) and the Royal College of Radiologists are among the medical groups demanding urgent consideration of sonographer regulation to meet current and future demands for ultrasound.

In a letter to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the SoR welcomed the news of additional National Health Service (NHS) funding for diagnostic imaging equipment in the October budget. But the society warned that current models of education and recruitment are unable to deliver the workforce at the pace and scale needed to meet increasing demands and the backlog of examinations.

Development of innovative educational programmes of study for sonographers in the U.K. has stalled due to the lack of statutory regulation, widening the gap between current staffing levels and workforce needs, the SoR said.

In addition, sonography regulation was last considered in the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) report, published in 2019, according to the SoR. The PSA concluded that sonographer regulation should be reviewed when there is a need or an increase in nonregistered sonographers from international and local recruitment.

"We believe that time is now," said SoR chief executive Richard Evans.

The other signatories included the Association of Child Protection Professionals, the British Medical Ultrasound Society, the British Society of Echocardiography, the College of Radiographers Patient Advisory Group, the Consortium for the Accreditation of Sonographic Education, the Royal College of Midwives, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Society of Vascular Technologists.

For full details, go to the SoR website.

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