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Welcome to the Society and College of Radiographers

Who are we? 

Radiographers are Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) educated to a minimum of BSc (Hons) level or equivalent who are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

• set standards for education, training and practice
• keep a register of professionals who meet their standards
• take action if registered professionals do not their standards

Radiographers work closely with medical doctors, nurses and other AHPs to diagnose and treat injuries and illnesses.

Diagnostic radiographers employ a range of techniques to produce high quality images to diagnose an injury or disease. We are responsible for providing safe and accurate imaging examinations and often also the resultant report. 

The identification and monitoring of diseases, skeletal and soft tissue abnormalities and trauma are the major focus of diagnostic radiography. 

Significantly, radiographers provide this service throughout the 24-hour day, often working alone or in interprofessional care teams. 

We use a range of techniques including: 

  • X-rays – used to look through tissue to examine bones, cavities and foreign objects. May be used with contrast agents to provide a live motion image, eg, fluoroscopy to image the digestive system, or angiography to investigate blood vessels;
  • CT (computed tomography) – provides cross-sectional views (slices) of the body; 
  • Nuclear medicine – uses radioactive tracers which can be administered to examine how the body and organs function, for example, the kidneys or heart. Certain radioisotopes can also be administered to treat particular cancers, eg, thyroid cancer.

Techniques that do not use x-radiation are:

  • Ultrasound – uses high frequency sound. This technique is increasingly used in obstetrics, including monitoring throughout pregnancy, gynaecology, abdominal, paediatrics, cardiac, vascular and musculo-skeletal; 
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) – builds a 2-D or 3-D map of different tissues within the body. 

Click here to view a short patient information video, produced and edited by Stephen Lomax, which shows the diagnostic imaging modalities.  

Therapeutic radiographers play a vital role in the delivery of radiotherapy services. We are the only health professionals qualified to plan and deliver radiotherapy. We constitute over 50% of the radiotherapy workforce working with clinical oncologists, medial physicists and engineers.

Therapeutic radiographers are responsible for the planning and delivery of accurate radiotherapy treatments using a wide range of technical equipment. The accuracy of these are critical to treat the tumour and destroy the diseased tissue, while minimising the amount of exposure to surrounding healthy tissue. Our degree qualified training solely in oncology and the care of cancer patients makes us uniquely qualified to undertake this role. The newer treatment techniques such as Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy, Image Guided Radiotherapy and Adaptive Radiotherapy require decision making at the point of treatment delivery at each treatment to ensure the optimum personalised treatment plan is delivered accurately at every treatment.

Therapeutic radiographers are extensively involved at all stages of the patients' radiotherapy journey: 

  • Pre-diagnosis – giving health promotion advice and raising awareness of cancer.
  • Patient consent – working with patients to enable you to make informed decisions about your treatment options. 
  • Pre-treatment preparation and planning – the use of sophisticated equipment to scan patients and plan treatments. As well as the preparation of any required devices to ensure the accurate delivery of treatment.
  • Treatment delivery – the use of a range of radiotherapy equipment to deliver external beam radiotherapy and brachytherapy (internal radiotherapy treatments). 
  • Patient management during treatment – the regular assessment of patients whilst undergoing treatment. Many radiographers qualify to prescribe drugs for patients to counteract the side effects of treatment. We are also responsible for the psychosocial well being of our patients whilst you are attending for treatments.
  • Patient follow up, management and care after treatment has finished. 

As Allied Healthcare Professionals, therapeutic radiographers undertake clinical practice at all levels;

  • Assistant
  • Practitioner
  • Advanced
  • Consultant practitioner
  • Radiotherapy service manager

A growing number of radiographers undertake tumour site specific roles or specialist treatment roles (at both advanced and consultant level practice), where we are responsible for our own patient load from treatment referral, through treatment to post treatment follow up. We are part of the multi-disciplinary approach to patient management by attending and participating in MDT meetings. These post holders provide continuity of care for our patients across their cancer journey with improved levels of care for our patients as well as efficiency benefits for the service.

Therapeutic radiographers are also involved in clinical research at all levels; ranging from recruitment to trials through to radiographer led research studies to evaluate the newer technologies and techniques as part of providing evidence based practice.

We can also specialise as community liaison practitioners. These post holders provide continuity of care between all health care providers. We also support and educate staff in the primary care services to understand and manage the side effects experienced by patients after they have finished their course of radiotherapy treatment.

Radiotherapy Service Managers are professional qualified managers responsible for the strategic delivery and planning of the service along with the day to day operational management of radiotherapy services. Our professional training and expertise is critical to the provision of safe and efficient radiotherapy services.

Advanced Clinical Practitice (ACP) - Transforming the radiography workforce

Information available to patients

Diagnostic tests

What are the benefits and risks associated with medical imaging examinations using ionising radiation? Find Clinical Imaging Board Patient Information Leaflets here and Public Health England Guidance here.

Patient information leaflets may also be available from the hospital you are going to for your diagnostic procedure.

Cancer treatments

All cancer centres provide their patients with information about their radiotherapy before and as they start treatment, so do find out what they can provide before you start your treatment. Many cancer centres have their own cancer information and support centres which are staffed by specially trained health care professionals and volunteers to provide information and support about all aspects of cancer, the treatment options, side effects of treatment and other services available. Many of these centres produce their own information resources about local treatment treatments and services.

There are many reputable national charities such as Macmillan Cancer Support and Cancer Research UK which also provide a range of patient information resources about these topics, visit their websites to find out more.

This website also provides an overview of radiotherapy. This gives more details about the role of radiotherapy and links to other organisations’ websites which provide information about radiotherapy.

Click here to watch an interview with Heidi Probst, Professor of Radiotherapy and Oncology at Sheffield Hallam University, talking about the patient journey and her own experiences as a patient receiving treatment for breast cancer.

Access to your health records

This NIGB guidance 'Access to Health Records by Diagnostic Staff' can be downloaded below. This provides details for patients and healthcare professionals about access to health records by diagnostic clinicians and their support staff when they do not have a direct relationship with the patient and are not in a position to ask for consent to view the record themselves.

Concerns or making a complaint

If you have concerns or wish to make a complaint about the quality of care you receive from the NHS, or would like to provide feedback about any other issues or experiences whilst using the NHS you should contact PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service).

Visit your local hospital website for details of your local PALS service. All NHS Trusts must provide this service.

Accessible Information Standard

All NHS health care and publicly-funded adult social care providers must be able to deliver on the requirements set out in the Accessible Information Standard. 

More information about meeting the needs of patients, service users and their families can be found here.

The Francis Report

The Society and College of Radiographers (SCoR) has implemented a number of actions and published a response to the final report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry, chaired by Robert Francis QC.

The SCoR response includes revising the profession’s Code of Professional Conduct, building on and enhancing the library of e-learning resources, and upgrading the online CPD portfolio tool.

The joint response of the Society of Radiographers and the College of Radiographers to the Final Report of the Independent Inquiry into care provided by Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust

Click to download a presentation which has been used by a number SCoR staff and Council members at recent events to remind members about the importance of putting the patient at the centre of everything they do.

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