Norwich to be a national Radiology Academy

The Department of Health (DoH) and Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) have today announced the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) will spearhead a groundbreaking approach to radiology training in the UK.

The announcement means that NNUH will become home to one of only three new Radiology Academies in the country, the others being Plymouth and Leeds. The news is another step towards implementing the Integrated Training Initiative and work will now commence to enable the three sites to be in operation by the autumn of 2005.

The Integrated Training Initiative, announced earlier this year, offers additional radiology training capacity without affecting patient care by splitting training time between the accepted “apprentice” environment in a hospital setting and a specifically designed educational environment known as a Radiology Academy. The two will be linked by high quality electronic links and trainees will have access to an electronic database as a learning tool for core radiological training alongside other specially designed training activities.

NNUH divisional clinical director and consultant radiologist Dr Erika Denton said; “The facilities we have here for digital imaging are among the best in Europe and, in tandem with the skills and knowledge of our staff, we are delighted that the Royal College and the Department of Health have chosen Norwich to be home to one of the new Radiology Academies.”

Professor Aidan Halligan, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, said: “The Department of Health is delighted with progress of the Integrated Training Initiative project. Addressing the current staffing shortage in radiological services is of vital importance because the role that radiological staff have in delivering the future health service is not in doubt. The exciting potential of the ITI is that it offers us an opportunity to move beyond traditional teaching models and boundaries, to develop and evaluate educational innovations and to move towards seamless multi-disciplinary and multi-professional learning and training programmes.”

Notes for Editors

The sites and contacts are:

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital

Dr Erika Denton
01603 286730

 Leeds General Infirmary

Dr Dick Fowler
0113 392 2845

 Plymouth, Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust

Dr Philip Cook
01872 252139

(1) The Integrated Training Initiative (Academies)

There is a national shortage of trained radiologists severely compromising delivery of radiology services to patients. The same shortage of trained radiologists is also severely compromising the delivery of education and training in radiology and radiography. Capacity for radiology training is now severely restricted due to historical limitations of equipment provision and access to patient investigations, lack of clinical departmental space, training and education facilities, limited funding by Trusts for training opportunities. Recent initiatives to improve the manpower crisis by overseas recruitment have had limited success. Recent innovations such as the creation of more flexible arrangements for abbreviated training for overseas radiologists and reducing the length of some subspeciality training will not solve the problem.

This proposal lays out a plan to increase significantly the capacity for radiology training whilst having limited impact on service provision. It recommends a departure from current training practice by splitting training time between a specifically designed educational environment and the usual practical 'apprentice' environment within clinical departments. Further, it recommends the design and development of an electronic database as a learning tool for core radiological training alongside other specially designed training activities. This will be achieved by the establishment of new radiology training Academies physically separate from clinical departments, but with access to clinical material within those departments through electronic links.

(2) The Royal College of Radiologists (RCR)

The RCR is the professional body of doctors practising clinical radiology and clinical oncology. An academic body and a scientific organisation, the College's members are the UK's leading oncologists and radiologists. A registered Charity, the College also offers guidance to patients and the public and sets standards of practice. The RCR has over 6,000 members who work as specialists in National Health Service hospitals and the private sector. Its aims are to advance the science and practice of radiology and oncology, to further public education, and to promote study and research within the field. The RCR represents expanding specialities, essential to medical progress and the wellbeing of patients. Its work will continue towards improving methods and standards of training and radiological practice and to obtain a sufficient workforce and the resources so that patients' needs are properly met.

Friday 12th of September 2003 10:00:51 AM