UK First Reporting Radiographer Academy to open in South Yorkshire

A UK first training academy for radiographers is being set up in South Yorkshire to help grow the number of people who are able to read (also known as report) X-rays.

Rotherham will soon be home to a tailor-made Reporting Radiographer Academy, which will be the first centre in the country where radiographers will undertake their clinical training together.

Radiographers are the health professionals who take diagnostic images such as X-rays, MRI and CT scans, however some also interpret what the images are showing, alongside their medical radiologist colleagues. Using radiographers to also interpret the images is now common in the UK, however it is believed this is the first time in the UK that NHS organisations have grouped together to offer their existing staff the chance to up-skill through attending the dedicated academy.

The concept for the Working Together Reporting Radiographer Academy was born after the leads from each of the hospital Trusts in Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley, Doncaster, Bassetlaw and Chesterfield commenced working together to collectively address local issues. They identified that although they wished to increase the number of reporting radiographers the national shortage of radiologists was having a significant impact on the ability to train staff, so they came up with the Reporting Radiographer Academy as a solution.

The plans for the academy are now well underway, with a first cohort of trainees due to start in Rotherham in early September.

Dr Des Breen, Medical Director for the Working Together Partnership Vanguard has been instrumental in setting up the Academy, he said: “By setting up the Academy we are putting ourselves at the forefront of this new approach to addressing the need to have more radiographers who can report on X-rays as well as take them. Not only does the Academy help solve a future workforce issue it also develops our existing workforce, which we are confident will also help with staff retention. I’m looking forward to the feedback once the first wave of our students have attended the course.”