New RCR president makes compelling case for radiology

By staff writers

September 21, 2022 -- The U.K. Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) President Dr. Kath Halliday has emphasized the importance of long-term investments in radiology in two letters sent to the country's new Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Dr. Kath Halliday.

In letters dated 16 September and sent to Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng, Halliday recommended their fiscal statement includes cash injections to address the energy crisis and to upgrade equipment and the need for a fully costed and funded workforce plan.

The funding is necessary because the Institute for Fiscal Studies suggests that cost pressures stemming from rising inflation are cutting departmental spending capacity. To compensate for the loss this year, the National Health Service (NHS) Confederation estimates the NHS would need at least an additional 3.4 billion pounds. Similarly, NHS England estimated that rising energy prices would cost an additional 485 million pounds this financial year, compared with what was initially budgeted in last December's planning guidance.

"To ensure that Trusts (NHS hospital groups) do not have to sacrifice staff and patient outcomes, you must make up the gap in funding," Halliday wrote.

In England, there was a 30% shortfall of clinical radiologists against demand (1,453 consultants) and a 17% shortfall of clinical oncologists (163 consultants). By 2026, this will increase the shortfall to 39% (2,707 consultants) and 26% (317 consultants), respectively, if there is no additional investment, according to the letter.

"Without a workforce plan, outcomes will decline, and the promises of new tests and therapies will go unrealized," she wrote.

You can read the letters in full on the RCR website.

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