18 May 2015
The British Institute of Radiology Statement on NHS seven day working for diagnostic radiology services
Many hospitals already run six day diagnostic imaging services and offer complex imaging services in a 24 hour on-call capacity. The BIR agrees that, where appropriate, seven day working would be in the best interests of patients, but this is dependant on appropriate funding to support a multi-disciplinary team that is essential to a modern 21st century radiology service.
Rapid reporting, accurate diagnosis and appropriate discharge requires the input of radiologists, radiographers, physicists and nurses as well as the support staff and transport infrastructure to support weekend and night time working.
The allocated £8bn extra funding, highlighted in the Five Year Forward View, was for maintaining services at the current level, so the BIR calls for funding to address the current shortfall of imaging staff including radiologists and to support the multi-disciplinary teams required to meet increased activity on a seven day per week basis.
Furthermore, a robust structure for replacement of imaging equipment should also be in place if the machines are to be used for longer hours.