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Remote working as an IR(ME)R practitioner

26 September, 2018
Radiation sign

The Administration of Radioactive Substances Advisory Committee (ARSAC) have issued important additional detail to support their Notes for Guidance on remote working as an IR(ME)R practitioner which will be of interest to anyone working with radionuclides.

The ARSAC Support Unit has recently received a number of queries regarding practitioners providing remote support to clinical services as an IR(ME)R practitioner. ARSAC has provided some guidance on appropriate arrangements which is available in the Notes for Guidance, however additional detail is below:

ARSAC does not encourage remote practitioners. The Committee considers that remote working makes it more difficult to ensure that the requirements for patient safety and appropriate standards of quality of care are maintained.

ARSAC is of the view that, wherever possible, the practitioner should regularly attend at each medical radiological installation for which they are providing support. It is the professional responsibility of all licensed practitioners to ensure that they are providing adequate supervision for the appropriate justification of every exposure and management of protocols.

  • Where a licensed practitioner is looking to extend support to additional medical radiological installations, the following should be considered:
  • Practitioners should be entitled as a practitioner and as an operator for any other practical aspects that they undertake according to the employers' procedures
  • Practitioners should hold a contract with the employer
  • The practitioner should review their licence to ensure that all procedures licensed at the medical radiological installation are included for the specified purpose
  • The practitioner should spend time on site providing supervision, the level of supervision should be commensurate with the complexity of the procedures performed 
  • When the practitioner is not based on site they should be contactable to provide support when procedures are being undertaken
  • The practitioner should approve and provide support for the ongoing review of all protocols.
  • The practitioner should review the employers’ procedures required by IR(ME)R to ensure they can comply with them.
  • If it is not possible for the practitioner to authorise every exposure, then the practitioner should issue guidelines to allow the authorisation of exposures by appropriately entitled operators.
  • The practitioner should assess the arrangements to ensure that there are appropriate supporting staff available to them. This is particularly important where operators will be authorising under their guidelines.

New arrangements may require a notification to be submitted to ARSAC. Further information can be sought from the ARSAC Support Unit

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