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The Society and College of Radiographers has a duty to review its professional guidance documents regularly so that they reflect both the needs of its members and the prevailing healthcare environment. This statement follows on from previous guidance published in November 2006 which itself took account of the continuing and significant changes in health service delivery, the ever widening number and range of service providers (including those in the independent sector) and the widespread use of 3D and 4D ultrasound for social (souvenir) scanning purposes in obstetrics.

It was evident in 2006 that, as a result of the widespread availability of ultrasound, sonographers were finding that both service users and referrers were requesting a much broader spectrum of ultrasound examinations. This meant that the SOR was frequently asked to clarify the professional indemnity cover of individual members regarding ultrasound referrals and scans performed for ‘reassurance’, therapeutic purposes, research or as part of a private patient’s assessment.

These trends have continued and this statement reflects changes such as the continued growth of souvenir scanning when there is no diagnostic purpose, the formal adoption by the Society of Radiographers of the European Committee of Medical Ultrasound Safety / British Medical Ultrasound Society statement on souvenir scanning and changes following Lord Darzi’s report (High Quality Care for All: NHS Next Stage Review)2 which included provision for self-referral by patients to Allied Health Professionals.

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