The Radiation Safety Special Interest Group is a truly multidisciplinary group as radiologists, radiographers and scientists all have both an interest in patient protection and also a radiation protection self-interest!
Our membership reflects this with an almost equal complement of medical, radiographic and scientific members.
We respond to policy and guidance consultations from governments and their agencies and communicate concerns about issues to those bodies from our members. We represent the BIR on various projects and committees where radiation protection is an issue (e.g. NRES, IEC, DH Working Group on EU Directive revision).
We represent our sister organisation, The Royal College of Radiologists on matters of radiation protection and sit on relevant committees of the Institute of Physics & Engineering in Medicine and the Society for Radiological Protection.
We are responsive to members' needs and are active in providing educational events and written guidance on matters of radiation protection. We are a very active SIG, always on the lookout for new members, of whatever profession, with an interest in radiation protection.
Latest SIG News
Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2018 Consultation. July 2017.
The BIR has taken the opportunity to comment on the draft Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2018. In its current form, IR(ME)R 2018 is more of a transition than a step-change, except in the area of radioisotope licensing. It increases the emphasis on patient safety and requires provision of information on benefits and risks prior to examination. Comforters and carers now come under the umbrella of these regulations in terms of justification and dose limitation. The BIR welcomes the inclusion of medical equipment (in terms of QA and incident reporting) and the expansion and clarification of the role of the medical physics expert (MPE). It is, however, pressing for changes in the definition and training of referrers. Overall, a worthwhile amendment to existing legislation.
Highlights from the SIG Management Group meeting on 08 June 2017
Position Papers being considered by the SIG:
- Radiation Safety Culture
- Referral Training
- The status of PPE specifications and labelling
Education and Events:
- New IRR regulations – what can we expect? 260917 (joint with SRP)
- Dose Management Systems 041017(joint with IPEM)
- Practical Radiation Protection in Diagnostic Radiology – Spring 2018
- Planning a new radionuclide therapy service 2018
- Optimisation in paediatrics – 2018
We were also delighted with the quality of applicants to our first BIR/GE Radiation Safety Travel Award, the winner of which has just been announced: Mark Worrall of Ninewells Hospital. Mark created a computational model to accurately estimate the thickness of an attenuator from a single radiograph. Mark will be presented with his award, which includes £1000 towards travel to a relevant scientific conference, at our next event: “The New Ionising Radiation Regulations: What does it mean for me?” on the 26 September in London. This meeting will be a key opportunity to hear more about plans for implementing the new Basic Safety Standards Directive, and is likely to be popular so book now!
We’re currently looking for new members, particularly radiographers and radiologists; if you are interested in joining us or would like to know more about the work of the SIG, please contact Lucy Stewart (firstname.lastname@example.org)
New Guidance on reporting radiation incidents
The long awaited guidance on when to report a radiation incident under the Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2000, has finally been produced. It specifically addresses when medical exposures may have been “much greater than intended”.
The new document outlines the notification process and includes a helpful table of illustrative examples. Of particular note is the change in guideline factor for “high dose” diagnostic examinations and the clarification provided regarding imaging in radiotherapy.
The new Basic Safety Standards Directive (BSSD) for Radiation Protection, 2013/59/Euratom, was adopted by the European Commission in December 2013. This directive consolidates the previous Euratom directives, and incorporates the latest ICRP recommendations as well as bringing the EU into line with Basic Safety Standards of the IAEA.
2013/59/Euratom must be implemented in UK law by the 6th February 2018. This is being overseen by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, with extensive input from the Health and Safety Executive. The HSE have a webpage with further details and links to related sites – this can be accessed here: http://www.hse.gov.uk/aboutus/europe/euronews/dossiers/radiationprotect.htm. Those who are interested are also encouraged to join the HSE Radiation Community: http://webcommunities.hse.gov.uk/connect.ti/radiationcom/grouphome.
Our SIG is following the implementation process, asssisted by updates from James Taylor from the HSE and Ian Chell from the Department of Health. In cooperation with the Society of Radiation Protection and the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine, we held a joint meeting on the 22nd November 2016 to discuss the implementation of the new BSSD. This was held at the British Dental Association, 64 Wimpole Street, W1G 8YS, and was addressed by representatives of the regulators. This was a valuable opportunity to ask questions and raise concerns.
Management group members
Some of the RP SIG Management Group - from left to right Peter Hiles (Chair), Mark Bowers, Lucy Hossen, Liz Benson and Katharine Thomson