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Executive Summary

In April and May 2011, the Society and College of Radiographers (SCoR) surveyed ultrasound departments in the UK. The aim of the survey was to obtain data on the number of sonographers employed and the number of vacancies. Over 50 ultrasound departments responded to an online questionnaire covering a range of questions about staffing and vacancy levels. This document presents the results of this survey and the following bullet points highlight the main findings.

  • The departments responding to the survey have an average of 7.7 whole time equivalent (WTE) funded sonographer posts per department.
  • The sonographer vacancy rate across the responding departments is 10.9%. The two main reasons for vacancies are that departments are waiting for a trainee to qualify or that they are unable to recruit suitable applicants.
  • Over three-fifths of sonographers in the responding departments work part time.
  • Nearly a quarter of responding departments employ agency sonographers regularly (on more than ten days per month).
  • In nearly two-thirds of responding departments, sonographers work extra hours on at least one day a month to meet demand.
  • Nearly two-thirds of responding departments have at least one trainee sonographer due to qualify in the next year.
  • Whilst around a quarter of responding departments reported no problems with the recruitment, retention and training of sonographers, one third commented that they do have difficulties recruiting sonographers.

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