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Appendix 5

3RD ANNUAL MEETING OF THE COLLEGE OF RADIOGRAPHERS (CoR) AND HEI HEADS OF SCHOOLS, 15TH JANUARY 2009, SCoR HQ, 207 PROVIDENCE SQUARE, MILL STREET, LONDON, SEI 2EW

PRESENT: Kathy Burgess - University of Liverpool
  Anne-Marie Conway - Queen Margaret University
  Pam Cherry - City University
  Brian Ellis - Glasgow Caledonian University
  Elaine Gannon - University of Hertfordshire
  Marc Griffiths - University of the West of England
  Phil Harris - University of Cumbria
  Diane Hawes - University of the West of England
  Mary Lovegrove - London South Bank University
  Steve Milner - University of Bradford
  Julie Nightingale - University of Salford
  Susan Nixon - University of Teesside
  Richard Price - University of Hertfordshire
  Paul Shepherd - University of Ulster
  Maggie Summerlin - University of Derby
  Claire Webb - University Campus Suffolk
  Martin West - Cardiff University
  Jean Wilson - University of Leeds
  Samantha Jewell - College of Radiographers
  Audrey Paterson - College of Radiographers
       
IN ATTENDANCE: Michele Landau - College of Radiographers

 

1. WELCOME & APOLOGIES

1.1 Audrey Paterson welcomed everyone to the meeting.  All attendees introduced themselves.

1.2 Apologies had been received from representatives from the following Institutions:

Derek Adrian-Harris – University of Portsmouth
Barry Carver – Bangor University
Lesley Forsyth – The Robert Gordon University
Denyse Hodgson – Sheffield Hallam University
Sylvia Kittle – Anglia Ruskin University
Graham Morgan – Kingston University
Trudy Sevens – Sheffield Hallam University

2. NOTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING

2.1 There were no matters arising from the previous meeting.

3. IMPROVING STUDENT RETENTION

3.1 Samantha Jewell confirmed that a significant rise in attrition rates had been highlighted in the last Approval & Accreditation Board (AAB) report and that the Radiotherapy Advisory Group was particularly concerned that Radiotherapy attrition was particularly high.  A working party was currently compiling guidelines on student retention and it was hoped this would be submitted to SCoR Council for approval in March 2009.  Samantha requested that examples of good practice by HEIs be forwarded to her.
ACTION: ALL

3.2 Audrey Paterson stated that attrition differed across the 4 countries of the UK and was lower in Scotland than in England and Wales.  It would be important to keep a watching brief for the effects of the change to a three year programme in Northern Ireland.

3.3 Mary Lovegrove informed the group that London South Bank University (LSBU) was under a value for money KPI performance system.  A “turn around” team would be swiftly deployed to solve attrition problems.  First year attrition would not be penalised, however attrition in years two and three would be seen most unfavourably, with attrition rates published in league tables.  Diane Hawes confirmed similar processes at University of the West of England (UWE).

3.4 Audrey Paterson referred to a piece of work on attrition being undertaken by Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs), the results of which had been expected since September 2008, and which still had not become available.  The Office of SHAs project was to identify best practice and encourage sharing, however, it was felt that communication was lacking between SHAs.

3.5 Brian Ellis stated that Glasgow Caledonian University (GCal) was not currently being pressurised by the Scottish Funding Council with regard to attrition.  GCal had pioneered various methods of dealing with attrition and employed an academic development officer who was tasked with dealing with students before they withdrew as well as a tracking system to highlight possible problems.

3.6 Marc Griffiths commented that a graduate development plan had existed at UWE for two years that had been successful in highlighting issues before they became problematic.

3.7 The group felt concerned whether the correct calibre of students was generally being recruited into the profession as this could also impact heavily on retention.

a. Julie Nightingale informed the group that figures for infilling assistant practitioners and transfers into years two and three at University of Salford had now to be counted into first year numbers.  Julie will send information to SCoR to take back to relevant SHA meetings/personnel.
ACTION: JN/AMP

3.10 Phil Harris questioned the information received by SCoR on student withdrawal forms, however, this remained patchy at best and was becoming ever harder to collate.

3.11 SCoR was currently working with HESA to obtain more detailed radiography specific information; this was work in progress.  The dataset gathered by SCoR had degraded over the past two and a half years due to the changes that had taken place surrounding student registration.

3.12 Phil Harris requested that the SCoR talk to second year students incorporated a segment on why the students have remained on the course while others had left.  Samantha Jewell confirmed she would pilot the segment at a talk she would be giving the week following this meeting.
ACTION: SJ

3.13 Karen Knapp confirmed that at University of Exeter students had to complete a paragraph stating their reasons for leaving.  Information from personal tutors relating to a student’s marking summary was also required.

3.15 Claire Webb informed the group that clinical colleagues in Suffolk were working on the clinical elements that led to attrition, including placement settings.

4. VERT PROJECT UPDATE

4.1 Audrey Paterson informed the group that the project seemed to be moving along reasonably well.  Installations into HEIs had more or less been completed.  Issues existed surrounding the use of data and just over half the clinical departments in England had taken up the non immersive version of VERT.  It was pleasing to know that VERT had been taken up in both Northern Ireland and Wales.

4.2 Lobbying of the Scottish government to release money for the project had begun, however, SRAG would require evidence that VERT worked before giving its support.  GCal were committed to installing VERT as soon as possible.

4.3 Claire Webb informed the group that first year students at University of Suffolk (UCS) had stated that VERT had proven helpful in preparing for placements, however, some reservations had been highlighted which included problems with glasses, headaches and dizziness.  SCoR would feed this back.
ACTION: AMP

4.4 Marc Griffiths stated that VERT had been in place at UWE for a year.  Feedback from students had been positive, however, usage was limited to forty five to fifty minutes per session.  Benjamin Rowe was currently writing an article for Synergy.  It was felt that hurdles with clinical colleagues would still need to be overcome.  A South West user group had been convened to take VERT forward.  UWE would be happy to share its experiences with other HEIs.

4.5 Audrey Paterson informed the group that SCoR would be meeting with VERT colleagues very shortly and would feed back the information from UWE.  It was hoped that there might be opportunities to push for radiotherapy planning equipment for HEIs.

5. DATA PROTECTION ACT

5.1 SCoR had been hugely pleased with the response from HEIs in providing first year student information.  Currently details remained outstanding from only one Institution, however, it was felt that this would soon be resolved.  Around 1500 students had been signed up this year for which SCoR was grateful.

5.2 Difficulties still surrounded obtaining pass lists from some Institutions.  It was of utmost importance for SCoR to receive this information as it assisted in informing the national data picture.

6. FEEDBACK ON CHANGES IN HEI AND STUDENT MEMBERSHIP

6.1 Free membership for first year students would continue for the 2009-2010 academic year.

6.2 Samantha Jewell confirmed that SCoR had implemented many strategies for students this year, however, it would take time to gauge the benefits to students and to SCoR.

6.3 Institutions had no way of knowing whether continuing students had joined SCoR.  Audrey Paterson would check with the SCoR Data Protection advisers to see if this information could be shared on an Institutional basis.
ACTION: AMP

6.4 SCoR was looking to a possible Student Synergy publication which would be based online.  It was hoped this would encourage students to publish their work.  The publishers of Synergy were currently tasked with ensuring it would be fit for wider purposes.

6.5 The group heard that one Institution in Northern Ireland and one in Scotland had made it compulsory for students to join SCoR.  Other Institutions heavily encouraged student membership.

7. UPDATE ON PROGRESS WITH SONOGRAPHER REGULATION

7.1 Audrey Paterson informed the group that the project had been in progress since the previous year.  The HPC had deferred its decision pending work from the DH England on widening regulation.  A paper was due from the DH England at anytime, so the project was currently in limbo.  Scotland had not initially seemed keen, however, may now be giving the project further thought.  Northern Ireland and Wales had not really commented.

7.2 Richard Price questioned what qualifications an individual would need if a register was opened.

7.3 Following a grandparenting phase, which could last for up to five years, entry would be by BSc (Hons).  Over time mixed entry would be seen at both pre and post registration level.  Pre-registration programmes would continue, however, it would be the responsibility of the HPC to recognise such programmes; consultation would have to take place.

7.4 Audrey Paterson explained the procedures involved in opening a new register.  Even if separate sonography regulation was agreed it would take quite some time before the project came to fruition.

7.5 Julie Nightingale questioned the impact of Modernising Scientific Careers (MSC) on the HPC.

7.6 It was felt that there was no specific impact on the HPC at present, however a consultation on MSC was currently taking place.  Healthcare Scientists were not best pleased.  It was not currently clear what would happen following the conclusions of the consultation.

8. UPDATE ON CONSORTIA – CACMRE, CANME, CASE

8.1 The group was informed that CACMRE had been subsumed into the AAB.

8.2 CANME was currently in limbo.  Approval work was being undertaken by the AAB and CANME assessors.  A recent liaison meeting with The Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine had been postponed.

8.3 CASE remained in operation and would probably do so for some time, certainly until the outcome of the sonography regulation project was known.  Some HEIs had not engaged with CASE in the current academic year.  It was felt that this could prove short-sighted if regulation occured, however, such decisions remained the remit of HEIs.

8.4 It was felt that CASE lacked consistency in its approach.  Questions remained on its role if it could not undertake short course and CPD approval, however, this could change in the near future.

8.5 HEIs questioned paying both CASE and SCoR for accreditation and queried whether it would be possible for SCoR to provide all accreditation in future.

8.6 The group wished to note the good work undertaken by Anne Shaw in relation to CANME and nuclear medicine in general.

9. MERGER OF UKAS AND COLLEGE OF RADIOGRAPHERS

9.1 Audrey Paterson confirmed that UKAS and The CoR had merged with effect from 1st January 2009.  Both parties were delighted on this event which ensured that there was now only one professional body for ultrasound in the UK.  Both UKAS and The CoR were registered charities and limited companies, and work is in hand to effect the legal steps that resulted from the merger.

9.2 SCoR Council had appointed the outgoing UKAS Chair as an observer to the College Board of Trustees.  They would move to a full seat as one became available and the Articles of Association would be altered to incorporate the change.

9.3 Membership of the SCoR Ultrasound Advisory Group would be increased by UKAS Trustees.  All UKAS information would be the intellectual property of SCoR. UKAS members have been invited to join SCoR, with a free membership period until March 2009, after which they would be invited into paying membership.

10. DH E-LEARNING PROJECTS

10.1 Audrey Paterson informed the group that support from the DH in relation to an image interpretation project had finally been forthcoming.  Dorothy Keane, a consultant radiographer had been appointed to oversee the project.  One module would be completed initially,  musculo skeletal plain film image interpretation.  Other modules may follow in time.

10.2 Questions had been received from HEIs concerned that this would take people from reporting programmes.  Audrey Paterson confirmed the module was not for this purpose but to move forward from red dots to initial comments.

10.3 SCoR was currently in partnership with the Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) and IPEM on another DH learning project.  The RCR would be taking the lead, on a radiotherapy based project entitled ‘technical radiotherapy’.  Should the bid be successful it was felt that a radiotherapy radiographer would be likely to lead the project.  Support from HEIs would be gratefully received, again.

11. CORE LEARNING

11.1 SCoR was currently working with Philips online learning centre on around ninety continuing education package, which would be available for members to purchase.  It was hoped that, over time, others could slot further learning options in to reach a wider spectrum to include HEIs and clinical departments.

11.2 Julie Nightingale had assessed the process for Philips and felt that there remained a lack of clarity surrounding Institutional subscription.  Audrey Paterson agreed to feed this back to Philips.

11.3 Julie Nightingale felt that the current modules were not suitable for postgraduate use.  There was little change of feeding back comments for corrections/updates etc.

11.4 Audrey Paterson confirmed that only modules believed to be of relevance had been approved via CPD Now, and they were for continuing education purposes.

12. RCR SKILLS MIX SURVEY

12.1 Julie Nightingale confirmed that the consensus from the last Heads of Radiography Education (HRE) was that the RCR survey was poor, with flawed methodology evident.

12.2 Audrey Paterson confirmed that the RCR would still be taking this forward, however, SCoR had chosen not to make comment as it would prefer to move beyond a peer survey.  SCoR and the RCR had met to discuss the current skills mix document prior to Christmas 2008.  SCoR Council had signed up to a review to commence in January 2009.  The RCR had concerns relating to radiographers reporting complex MR/CT abdominal scans, however, currently there were few radiographers reporting these at present with no need/desire to do so identified generally.

12.2 SCoR and the RCR would separately annotate what required revision.  It was hoped this would be ready for Easter 200.  In the meantime, skills mix was alive and well and still rolling out, with minimal roll back.

12.3 Karen Knapp highlighted a limit on advanced practice opportunities in radiology academies.

12.4 Jean Wilson stated that she supported the point regarding academies and had concerns that role extension seemed to be rolling back.

12.5 Marc Griffiths highlighted the impact on postgraduate education in the South West of England.

12.6 Audrey Paterson informed the group that consultant radiographer posts continued to rise.

13. RADIATION MONITORING OF STUDENTS – SCoR GUIDANCE

13.1 Julie Nightingale highlighted issues surrounding costs of monitoring and late returns of badges and queried whether monitoring was actually required, particularly of first year students.  A number of trusts had now stopped monitoring unless in high risk areas.  Guidance was requested from SCoR.

13.2 Audrey Paterson stated that SCoR had met with the Health Protection Agency (HPA), however, the answer was complex.  Guidance would be issued once the stance had been agreed and a formal response from the HPA was awaited.  Once this had been received SCoR would work with the HPA to agree wording.
ACTION:AMP

13.3 SCoR felt that monitoring was important; a zero reading did not prove that there was no risk.  It might prove prudent to monitor in certain areas then investigate areas giving too high or too low readings.

13.4 Claire Webb informed the group that, on the advice of the regional radiation protection supervisor, only radiotherapy students were monitored at UCS.

13.5 Audrey Paterson raised concerns on whether a lack of monitoring would degrade safety issues surrounding radiation usage.

13.6 It was felt that students were reassured to obtain a “no” reading when monitored.

13.7 IR(ME)R England had noted that students in some trusts had been designated as operators and had requested that SCoR intervene.  SCoR had been working with regulators from the four countries in the UK and the HPA to draft sensible guidance which would be sent out for consultation in the near future.

13.8 The group received a copy of the draft guidance which would also be forwarded by email.
ACTION: ML

14. STUDENT SECTION AT UKRC 2009

14.1 Karen Knapp explained that at the time of the last HRE meeting there had been no student section in place for UKRC 2009.  This had now been resolved, however, deadlines had been somewhat tight.  It was confirmed that the student section would remain on the programme in future.

14.2 Audrey Paterson confirmed a possibility of The CoR taking responsibility in future and clarified how the deadlines had been agreed.

14.3 It was suggested that the HRE group liaise with Rachel Deeson following this year’s event in order to shape 2010.

14.4 Issues surrounded clarity as to who was a student and that the work was being presented by students.

14.5 A problem with the UKRO website was highlighted.  SCoR would feed this back to the organisers.
ACTION: AMP

15. HEPATITIS B VACCINATION OF STUDENTS

15.1 Audrey Paterson informed the group that she was aware of some trusts that would not pay for staff to be immunised.

15.2 The HEI representatives confirmed that all students were being vaccinated except for University of Liverpool.  Radiography students had not been included in guidance documentation and some students were not receiving the vaccination.  It was felt that guidance from SCoR would be helpful.  Audrey Paterson would liaise with Lyn Wigley, the SCoR Health & Safety Officer.
ACTION: AMP

16. ANY OTHER BUSINESS

16.1 Audrey Paterson highlighted a request from Donald Graham relating to a proposed survey relating to ‘Principles of Radiological Physics’.  This had been forwarded to HEI representatives on the morning of today’s meeting.

16.2 A request had been made by the RCR for potential suppliers in relation to digital FCR exams which it hoped to bring in for 2010.  Further details could be requested directly from the RCR.

16.3 The group was concerned with a delay on CRB returns in England.  This was impacting on student placements.  It was agreed that SCoR would raise the issue in appropriate circles.
ACTION: AMP

16.4 Audrey Paterson thanked the group for attending today’s meeting and hoped they found it as useful as SCoR did.

16.5 The date of the next meeting was agreed as Thursday January 14th 2010.

 

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