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Scottish Clinical Imaging Network

The Scottish Clinical Imaging Network (SCIN) is one of four managed diagnostic networks in Scotland and was commissioned approximately three years ago, following on from the work of the Managed Diagnostic Imaging Clinical Network (MDICN), as part of NHS Scotland National Managed Network Service (NMNS).

SCIN is composed of different groups of professionals, employed within imaging in Scotland, who are interested in working together to progress quality issues within their specialty. The network involves radiologists, radiographers and imaging managers. It was established to work across board boundaries, acting as a conduit between the service and Scottish Government or central projects.

A large part of the work of SCIN involves driving up quality and effectiveness across Scotland by sharing good practice. Few radiographers have an understanding of this work and its impact on day to day practice. As strategic decisions always have a “grass roots” effect, this article is aimed at informing radiographers about the work being undertaken by SCIN and to encourage support and participation in this effort.

There is a core team of staff: a Lead clinician (a radiologist), a national Imaging manager (a radiographer) both of whom are seconded for two sessions a week to SCIN. These clinicians are ably supported by a Project Manager and a Project Support Officer who are employed by the National Network Management Service.  This core team focus on progressing the activities of SCIN.

Team produce a quarterly news letter which provides regular updates on work currently being undertaken by the network. SCIN also hosts an annual education meeting which is dedicated to a specific theme each year.

There is a SCIN website which presents current and previous network effort

One of the current projects impacting on Radiology is the Radiology Programme within the NHS Scotland Shared Services Health Portfolio.  With the ever increasing pressures on budgets and the increasing demand for public services, the challenges remain for public services to do more with less money.

It is anticipated that sharing of services, including diagnostic imaging, will become the standard way of delivering improved efficiencies and service quality. SCIN is working closely with Shared Services staff to facilitate this project. The most recent addition to this collaborative work is a national approach to Radiographer Reporting working towards the development of a National Reporting Radiographer profile.

Link to the Shared Services: National Radiology Model Strategic Document


SCIN, along with other diagnostic networks and clinical networks, is accountable to the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorate (SGHSCD) via a complex management structure. (see fig1)

In short, the Government (SGHSCD) set objectives or commission reports to inform future planning. The networks, including SCIN, gather data, explore practice across Health Boards and compile reports that are either delivered directly to the Government (SGHSCD) or more usually via the Diagnostic Steering group which has representatives from SGHSCD

 The SGHSCD Diagnostic Steering Group along with the National Specialist Services Committee (NSSC) provides strategic direction to diagnostic networks that links with national and regional planning structures.

 The National Services Division (NSD) is accountable to SGHSCD via NSSC and commissions work, agrees objectives and funding. NSD also performance manages the network.

Quality dimensions for SCIN objectives

 The Institute of Medicine’s six dimensions of quality are central to NHS Scotland’s approach to systems-based healthcare quality improvement; therefore all SCIN objectives are linked to these six dimensions:

1.    Person-centred: providing care that is responsive to individual personal preferences, needs and values and assuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions

2.    Safe: avoiding injuries to patients from healthcare that is intended to help them

3.    Effective: providing services based on scientific knowledge

4.    Efficient: avoiding waste, including waste of equipment, supplies, ideas, and energy

5.    Equitable: providing care that does not vary in quality because of personal characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, geographic location or socio-economic status

6.    Timely: reducing waits and sometimes harmful delays for both those who receive care and those who give care

SCIN plans to audit Imaging services in Scotland against the recommendations in the report.


There are many opportunities for radiographers to contribute to the work of SCIN but to date they are an underrepresented group. It is hoped that as the work of the network is more widely known, radiographers of all bands and specialties will play a part in SCIN activities.

Due to workplace constraints, everyone finds it difficult to get time off work for a meeting especially when travel is required. It is therefore likely that much of the quality improvement work will be done via virtual groups, either by e-mail or video/teleconference. This has already been trialled successfully during the development of the DNA- Urgency Code report and in the development of the self assessment tool. Input from all radiographers will be more achievable using this model. Communication via social media is also planned.

In the near future, demand, capacity, workforce and training will be important issues that will affect all staff groups within Radiology departments. Groups will be convened to look at various aspects of work.

SCIN needs your input so please consider getting involved. If interested please contact us


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