RCR issues warning on looming budget cuts

By AuntMinnieEurope.com staff writers

July 22, 2022 -- The U.K. Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) has issued a strong warning after the government's announcement that pay increases for National Health Services (NHS) workers must come from existing budgets.

NHS doctors will see their pay increased by 4.5%, but the government did not budget for around 1.8 billion pounds (2.1 billion euros) of this cost, the RCR said in a statement issued on 21 July. This means that NHS leaders are being forced to cut investment in expanding diagnostic capacity and new technologies.

"Budget cuts will detrimentally impact upon cancer patients' outcomes, as well as their options for successful treatment," noted Dr. Jeanette Dickson, president of the RCR. "The diversion of funding will have a catastrophic effect on an already stretched and under-staffed radiology workforce, working day in and day out to tackle the extremely high backlog and provide safe patient care."

'We need the Government and future Prime Minister to prevent service cuts, wake up to the scale of workforce shortages and commit to a sustainable funding and workforce plan, otherwise patients will suffer," she added.

The RCR also noted that challenges in funding the diagnostic workforce are already faced. The RCR's 2021 Workforce Census found that there is a shortfall of 30% (1,453) clinical radiologist consultants in England. This led to 63% of radiology clinical directors saying there are insufficient radiologists to deliver safe and effective patient care.

The census also suggested that this shortfall will increase to 39% (2,707) by 2026 if no action is taken.

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