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Knowledge Hub

Urgent call for 1,004 more radiologists

How can the NHS meet the growing need for imaging doctors?


The Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) has warned of current and future shortages of imaging doctors.


The college, which this week published its Clinical Radiology UK Workforce Census 2017, said that the UK needs another 1,004 more full-time diagnostic radiologists. It predicted that the shortfall will be 1,610 by 2022.


The census also reveals that the NHS spend £116m on outsourcing scans and overtime to keep up with demand last year. This is twice the spend in 2014.


The NHS’s demand for scans has increased by 30% between 2012 and 2017, but numbers of full-time radiologists have not risen.


RCR president Dr Nicola Strickland said, ‘The obvious long-term, sustainable solution to our staffing crisis is to fund more trainee radiologists to become our future consultant workforce.’


Back in July the Care Quality Commission called on NHS trusts in England to address wide variations in the time taken to analyse radiology scans. The commission’s report blamed, in part, a shortage of radiologists and also a lack of agreed standards across trusts.


Further information

Royal College of Radiology: Workforce census

Wellards News: Regulator finds NHS scan delays may be affecting patient care

Wellards News: Radiology staffing in crisis says royal college (this is our coverage of the 2016 census)