Improving the experience of patients should be at the heart of work to increase capacity in radiology services within the constraints of COVID-19, according to a new report on the specialty from the Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme.
A recent GIRFT report – written by Dr. Katharine Halliday, a leading radiologist from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust – examines ways of meeting the ever-increasing demand on radiology units in England at the same time as shaping a better service for those who use it.
Radiology services are vital to almost every specialty in the NHS to ensure patients receive high-quality, effective and timely treatment. The NHS carries out almost 120,000 radiological procedures in England every day and the number is increasing by 1.3m annually. The fastest growth is in MRI and CT scans, where demand outstripped capacity even before the COVID-19 pandemic, which has since resulted in longer waits and further limited imaging capacity.
Professor Sir Mike Richards’ review of diagnostic services Diagnostics: Recovery and Renewal – commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement – called for an urgent increase in diagnostic provision, including the creation of community diagnostic hubs, or ‘one-stop shops’ away from hospitals.
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