Advanced and consultants practice roles within Radiography

Supported by the NHS England South East Cancer & Diagnostics Programme, AECC University College have undertaken a scoping project to ascertain how advanced (APR) and consultant practice (CPR) across the south east region is being utilised within Radiography. The project aimed to detail where APR and CPR roles in Radiography are currently operating and describe their service, financial and patient care impact. Information on the future of these roles is reported upon as well as practitioner and organisational visions for maintaining, sustaining and growing these further. Surveys were sent to A/CPRs and interviews were conducted, with analysis generating both quantitative and qualitative data.

A snapshot of the findings is as follows:

•   There are over 80 APRs and 13 CPRs in the region with 19 new posts in set-up.

•   Around half the respondents held full MSc’s with variable educational and training backgrounds. 36% of the services require Advanced Practice Accreditation.

•   Examples of impact on services include: Prompt discharge, streamlined services, improved continuity of care and access to care, enhanced MDT working, professional benefits to Radiography: career progression and education.

•    Examples of cost savings associated with roles: Image reporting outsourcing reduction, refining radiotherapy techniques and training others to deliver particular aspects of the service to improve capacity and efficiency, reduction in waiting times. 

This project showcases A/CPRs and helps workforce leads and service managers in their decision-making when creating workforce plans. 14 organisational, regional and national recommendations have been generated by this report to allow improved uptake of these roles and robust governance that will safeguard and raise the professional profile of the A/CPR workforce.