Innovation in Radiology

Radiology Toolkit

The Network’s Radiology project is the largest source of comparative Radiology data available within the NHS. The project covers all modalities and produces thought provoking comparisons, analysis and good practice case studies from Radiology departments across the NHS.

Stockport NHS Foundation Trust have been active participants in our Radiology benchmarking project and used the process to test performance and inform local innovations in practice. The Trust now have extended scope practice for Radiographic and Nursing staff across many areas in the department including the delivery of ultrasound (soft tissue, neck, testes), CT brain reporting, MSK x-ray reporting (ED and GP’s) and advanced GI imaging.

The Trust have also developed processes to allow mammographic staff to undertake stereotactic breast biopsy, an Advanced Nurse practitioner undertakes hystero-salpingograms and the reporting of DEXA is radiographer led. The Trust are also undertaking a comprehensive Myocardial Perfusion Imaging service in which the stressing agents are administered by nursing staff. Other notable practice includes a recently acquired vacuum assisted biopsy device for use in mammography.

The benchmarking exercise has provided useful information on where Radiology at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust sits in relation to its peers. Such information has previously been unavailable. We hope to use the data in the future as evidence of our strengths and weaknesses in an effort to support further service developments and investment.

It is intended that the expansion of use of this as a tool will decrease the reliance on elective surgery if used to remove benign lesions from the breast. Breast services are provided for the symptomatic patients of Stockport and we operate a formal double reporting standard for these patients which we feel offers a greater degree of sensitivity and specificity on mammographic reporting.

The equipment portfolio at Stockport NHS FT is of a high standard. Within the past 3 years, we have moved towards full digitalisation of our plain film services with a reduction in the number of plain film rooms from 9 rooms to 6. Over the same period, we have purchased a second CT scanner, digital dental x-ray room, numerous replacement Ultrasound units and upgraded the MR system to the latest platform.

David Hughes

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