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
BIR position statement on the selection and purchase of lead aprons October 2017
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 05 December 2017
The management group met on 5 December, with some of the group present at the BIR’s offices in Farringdon and others phoning in by teleconference. We welcomed a new member to the management group: Cristiona Logan, a quality assurance radiographer from Northern Ireland.
We had an update on the BIR’s strategy and recent meetings, including the very successful “New Ionising Radiation Regulations: What does it mean for me?” meeting in September in London, held jointly with IPEM and the SRP. A joint meeting with the Society of Radiographers entitled “Practical Radiation Protection in Diagnostic Radiology” is planned for the 19 April 2018. Further details to follow.
Our position statement on lead aprons is also now available (https://www.bir.org.uk/media-centre/news/2017/october/bir-position-statement-on-lead-aprons/). Another development of interest to our SIG members is a new section in BJR dedicated to radiation protection articles. The use of gonad shielding in radiology appears to be a contentious issue and so the BIR is considering forming a working party, with representatives of the various professional bodies, to provide guidance. If any readers are interested in finding out more please contact the RS SIG chair Peter Hiles.
We are always keen to hear from people interested in joining us. At the moment we are particularly short of radiologists, but we welcome interest from all professions involved in radiation protection and radiology.
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