1. New “myth-buster” guide to support women in interventional radiology
  2. BSIR Blog
  3. New Guidance on Picture archiving and communication systems and guidelines on diagnostic display devices from the Royal College of Radiologists
  4. Dealing with the Press
  5. RCR statement on the junior doctors’ industrial action
  6. RCR position statement on the appointment of a radiographer as Head of the Yorkshire and the Humber School of Radiology
  7. Cancer Research UK research brief: The skills and capacity of the UK’s non-surgical, oncology workforce

New “myth-buster” guide to support women in interventional radiology

The RCR and the British Society of Interventional Radiology (BSIR) have created a “myth busting” guide to encourage more women to train as interventional radiologists.

While more than half of medical graduates are female, women are under-represented in interventional radiology (IR).

To encourage and support more women training in IR, the RCR and BSIR have created Women in Interventional Radiology: Insights into the Subspecialty, aimed at interested undergraduates, foundation doctors and trainee radiologists.

The leaflet features commentary from women in IR working across the UK and at various stages in their careers, addressing common myths and queries about IR training, such as access to flexible training, radiation exposure risks and working in what has been a traditionally male-dominated medical sub-specialty.


Women In Interventional Radiology

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The past 12 weeks have been one of the most surreal times of my 20-year career in virtually all facets of my life. It has been largely an emotional roller-coaster with a complete change in my work pattern, that meant I had absolutely no idea what day of the week it was. There was the predictable panic in the beginning, when no-one really knew what was going to happen, and the hospitals prepared for doomsday. The government and hospitals gave daily advice that not infrequently contradicted the advice of the previous day – whilst I can understand the theory of being open and transparent, with daily (sometimes bi-daily) government and hospital briefings, I cannot help looking back and thinking that they did add to the level of uncertainty, stress and panic.

Let’s take the PPE advice – it was clear that this was availability and not science in the beginning. Let’s face it, most is made in China with a significant proportion actually in Wuhan. The majority of Europe had to deal with COVID-19 before it crossed the English Channel, and so there was bound to be a shortage! The frustration was the conflicting advice from hospital to hospital and region to region about the PPE advice, with a significant number of members feeling pressurised to undertake procedures without the appropriate PPE. I hope that the advice issued by BSIR helped members in this respect.

During the initial phase elective activity came to a halt and surgery virtually ceased across the country, and oncology patients were isolated, with treatment temporary suspended. Relatives were banned from hospitals and all outpatient activity became remote with either telephone or video consultations.  BSIR spent some time looking at this and issued some initial advice / guidance on how to approach this phase from an IR perspective.

The emotional burden and stress during these times was immense, for all our members, including the nurses and radiographers who were often frontline. We all, I included, took time to process the situation and come to a personal decision on how to act. It was made clear at the beginning that we had to split into an IR 24/7 rota and a DR rota in Birmingham, and I believe this was also true in most of the larger centres. IR took on most of the ultrasound guided drainage and biopsy activity as the majority of the DRs were home working.

Most people who know me know that I hate to be negative, worry or look backwards. My moto has always been if there is a problem – fix it and it you cannot fix it then why worry about it. Of course, this does not account for inefficiencies and management dilemmas preventing one from fixing a problem. That is why COVID-19 was in some ways refreshing, consultants were tasked with jobs, with all obstacles removed and everything changed for the better in days. I learnt that in fact things can be done, they can be done well, and quickly if left to the consultant experts in that field. Other observations included a sudden ability to work efficiently and co-operatively as a team, and that all of us had amazing skills in IR that could be applied to any area. We had been living in little silos for too long. It was fun.

Many other positives were highlighted form IR departments and teams across the country. Patients were understandably frightened and presented late, laparoscopic surgery and endoscopy were furloughed which meant that IR was the only option. In-patients were done the same day 7 days a week and the turnaround of US drains and biopsies was 24hrs. IR departments with their own day case units functioned even better with some maintaining significant activity.

Furthermore, it became apparent that other specialities also lived in silos, with only in-house (speciality) teaching and no cross-speciality fertilisation of knowledge. The starkest example of this was the provision of lines in ITU & CCU for the COVID-19 population.  This group was difficult due to patients BMI and thrombotic complications of COVIS-19, meaning patients required numerous line exchanges in confined hostile environments. This service traditionally provided by intensivists and anaesthetists were stretched and their skillset and confidence with the use of ultrasound guidance exposed. I am thankful to all those IRs who helped out and provided training for those on the ITU lines rotas, to help improve operator confidence and foster cross-speciality working and understanding. A real positive.

There is so much more I could say, but I am mindful of two matters. One, is that this was supposed to be a quick communication with you, our members, to say thank you and much respect professionally and humanitarianly. Secondly, I have to write a piece for the newsletter in a couple of weeks, so I have to keep a bit in reserve.

I am going to end by saying that I believe that COVID-19 has been exceptionally difficult, that IR (image guided surgery) has handled itself fantastically, with all its membership stepping up to the plate. We as a group have demonstrated the positivity and enjoyment of working together as a team able to put IR centre stage for the benefit of the nation’s health. I believe, after the inevitable re-set of normality, IR (image guided surgery) can continue to blaze trails in healthcare and demonstrate that it is one of the most cost-effective patient preferred day case surgical options. 

Ian McCafferty

BSIR President

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New Guidance on Picture archiving and communication systems and guidelines on diagnostic display devices from the Royal College of Radiologists

Please click HERE to view RCR New Guidance on Picture archiving and communication systems and guidelines on diagnostic display devices

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Dealing with the Press

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RCR statement on the junior doctors’ industrial action

Friday 2 September 2016

The Royal College of Radiologists is unable to support the statement issued yesterday by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges ( because it does not advance a positive solution for patient care or the provision of safe and sustainable NHS services.  We remain of the view that the dispute between junior doctors and the Government can only be resolved by resuming negotiations. Once again, we call on both parties to re-start the discussions and reach a workable solution as soon as possible, to avoid further distress to and impact on patients.  Each individual junior doctor will make up their own mind on taking strike action – and we should all respect those decisions.

The underlying problem remains that the NHS is under resourced, under staffed and overstretched.

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RCR position statement on the appointment of a radiographer as Head of the Yorkshire and the Humber School of Radiology

'BSIR fully support the position of the RCR and agree's with the statement that the appointment of a Radiographer to the head of school is an ill conceived appointment by Health Education England' 

Raman Uberoi

BSIR President

The RCR position statement can also be viewed at: and

RCR position statement on the appointment of a radiographer as Head of the Yorkshire and the Humber School of Radiology

Wednesday 3 August 2016

The RCR was informed last week that the post of Head of the Yorkshire and the Humber School of Radiology has been offered by Health Education England (HEE) to an individual who is not a radiologist and not medically qualified. The RCR was not consulted about this appointment and was not involved in the appointment process in any way. We understand that there was no radiologist member of the appointment panel and also that a suitably qualified and experienced consultant radiologist was interviewed for the post.

Radiology training and service delivery involve specific and complex challenges.  The role of Head of a School of Radiology includes the management of issues including trainees in difficulty, trainers about whom concerns are raised, the interface with clinical departments including the provision of out of hours services, the management of reporting discrepancies, radiology service whistleblowing concerns and the provision of strategic leadership and planning. The RCR considers that only consultant radiologists have the skills and experience to command the respect of radiology trainees and trainers in this role.

The RCR has unambiguously communicated in writing to HEE that the College does not support this appointment. We have requested an urgent meeting with the local Postgraduate Dean to explore how the damage caused by this ill-informed and ill-conceived decision can be limited.

The RCR recognises the anxiety and distress that this will cause radiology trainees and trainers not only in Yorkshire and the Humber, but also across the country.

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Cancer Research UK research brief: The skills and capacity of the UK’s non-surgical, oncology workforce

Cancer Research UK research brief: The skills and capacity of the UK’s non-surgical, oncology workforce

Cancer Research UK would like to commission research on the UK’s non-surgical oncology treatments workforce. The brief for this study is attached. The closing date for submissions is 1st September 2016.

We know that delivering world-class cancer outcomes relies on a vast array of health professionals. They are crucial at all stages of an individual’s journey, ranging from GPs offering smoking-cessation advice to the therapeutic radiographers and clinical nurse specialists involved in cancer treatment.

We are seeking to commission a new study to focus on current and future capacity and demand as well as providing potential solutions such as new models of care and changes to education and training programmes.

The findings will input into our policy development on workforce in all four nations and it will be used to inform our evidence and recommendations to Health Education England’s review of the cancer workforce in early 2017.

We would like the research to start by October 2016 with the view to complete by end of March 2017, for publication at the end of May 2017.

Please respond with expressions of interest by 22nd August 2016 and your full proposal for this work by 5pm, 1st September 2016.

All enquiries should be sent to Helen Beck, Policy Research Manager,<><<>>


Research brief - Non-surgical oncology workforce

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