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8. General comments

Respondents were asked to comments on their local circumstances with respect to sonographer recruitment, retention and training. The themes in the table below were mentioned by three or more responding departments. Whilst 25.9% of departments have no problems with the recruitment, retention and training of sonographers, 33.3% commented that they do have difficulties recruiting sonographers.

Theme Number of responding departments Illustrative comment
Recruitment is difficult 18 "The post for Sonographers has been advertised four times in the last 4 months with no success. We are training more sonographers. Meanwhile, we are meeting the demand by overtime and using agency staff."
Recruitment, retention and training situation is good 14 "We are fortunate that [our Strategic Health Authority] fund training places and tuition fees. We train 2 PGDip per year for the region and have employed at least one per year ourselves. There is very little attrition from the department so retention is good. The department encourages sonographer development which helps keep people interested and in post and I have several specialist sonographers in post."
Increasing demand 7 "Workload is increasing in all aspects of US and we have to keep within waiting times of <5weeks."
Difficult to get funding for training 5 “We find it very difficult to recruit to our departments as there is a shortage of suitably trained staff throughout Scotland as very little money has been made available to train students.”
Difficult to find time for training 5 “Logistically difficult to provide hands on practical training for trainees and other medical staff due to workload which is dictated by government targets.”
 Frozen posts 4 “Unable to recruit to vacant post 2 years ago. Post now frozen - cost cutting measure.”
Competition for staff from independent/agency organisations 3 "Many sonographers have cut their hours in favour of working within the community/privately for an increased wage.”
Staff retiring 3 “Currently preparing case for training post as staff age demographic mean that we will lose several key staff in three years.”

 

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