Report highlights U.K. staff shortages that would affect imaging access

2019 11 01 16 57 7619 Ct Scan Patient 400

The U.K.'s Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is warning of a potential shortage of 6,000 staff in the National Health Service (NHS) that will affect patient access to imaging, according to a report published 23 February in the Guardian.

The shortage would be prompted by transferring radiographers and radiologists from hospitals to community diagnostic centers, putting the hospitals in need of an extra 3,500 radiographers, 2,000 radiologists, and 500 advanced practitioners, the Guardian said.

The NHS is trying to address a treatment backlog of 6.1 million cases by spending 2.3 billion pounds (2.8 billion euros) to open at least 100 community diagnostic centers (CDCs) by 2025.

But extra radiology staff doesn't exist, according to the U.K. Society and College of Radiographers (SCoR).

"There is a real concern that CDCs will be staffed with radiographers and other staff that are only available because they have left jobs elsewhere in the NHS," said SCR chief executive Richard Evans in the Guardian story. "Robbing Peter to pay Paul is never a good strategy and it could be disastrous for NHS diagnostics as a whole."

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