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5.0 Conclusion

5.1 There is a shortage of appropriately qualified sonographers and an ever increasing demand for ultrasound examinations. The shortage is impacting on the ability of the services to meet demand, government targets and the requirements of national screening programmes. It is also affecting sonographers adversely in terms of workplace stress, musculo-skeletal injury and career development opportunities.

5.2 The long established model of postgraduate education leading to a CASE accredited award is not able to supply the necessary number of sonographers to meet the demand, in large part because of the lack of concerted regional or national planning and lack of associated funding.

5.3 Overseas recruitment offers limited opportunity to augment the sonographer workforce.

5.4 There is a policy and strategy vacuum which very small local initiatives have no hope of filling.

5.5 National impetus and action is required to put into effect a multi-dimensional approach to growing the ultrasound workforce.

5.6 This paper sets out a range of possible solutions that, if adopted, would secure the
sonographer workforce for the short, medium and longer term.

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