NHS patients to benefit from faster scans and test results thanks to new roles in radiography 

In a radiography first, the NHS in North West London introduces brand new practice educator roles to improve patient care and boost radiographers training and development.

These innovative new roles are brand new in North West London and a first in the country for radiography. To provide patients with faster access to diagnostic tests and provide test results within 24 hours they are investing in the NHS’ greatest asset – the workforce.

Radiographers deliver care to a variety of patients across all age groups and through a range of specialisms, from emergency care, to screening and detecting of cancer and follow-up scans.

Through increasing education available to radiographers, staff will have more skills and knowledge to deliver patients an even better service. Practice educators will help to:

  • Improve the quality of radiography services for their patients
  • Meet the ever increasing demand on their radiography services including cancer diagnosis and major traumas such as strokes
  • Educate, develop and inspire their radiographers to be the best that they can be.

There are four practice educators who have been supporting radiographers across North West London hospitals since summer 2017.

Phillip Regelous, Practice Educator for the London North West Healthcare NHS Trust explains:

I oversee the training and development of all radiographers working for the trust. My aim is to meet the ever growing demand on radiography services with appropriate training for our radiographers. When I first started I set upon finding out what training staff wanted and what support they needed whilst ensuring that their training focussed on areas which have the greatest need, such as cancer services. I have been able to match staff to training opportunities that our staff really want and the trust will benefit from. A well-trained team makes the radiography department more efficient and a better place for both patients and staff. We can improve services in innovative ways, reduce waiting times, and patients receive better care.

The practice educator role is a whole new way of working, offering radiographers the opportunity to work across hospitals and learn new practices not just from other hospitals but from each other.

Katie Dawson, Practice Educator at the Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust said:

It would be fantastic to see this new role being run nationally. Practice educators encourage good working relationships, not only between services within the hospital but with other trusts which also helps to improve patient experience.

The NHS in North West London is focused on developing its radiography workforce so that they are well equipped to provide the best patient care. As part of this work, last year they launched the Radiographer Career Framework. The framework presents opportunities for the radiography workforce to shape and influence their training, take control of their career development, and provide greater consistency in skills and roles across hospitals in North West London.

Find out more: www.healthiernorthwestlondon.nhs.uk/

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