Making the case for the statutory registration of clinical technologists
EFFORTS to move towards clinical technologists becoming registered professionals to help deliver better patient outcomes are about to be stepped up, led by IPEM.
The demands placed on the UK’s health infrastructure by the Covid-19 crisis provided renewed impetus for IPEM to make the case for statutory registration of clinical technologists earlier this year.
Why clinical technologists should be registered
Clinical technologists perform crucial roles in many healthcare science areas including nuclear medicine, radiation physics, radiotherapy physics, rehabilitation engineering, radiation engineering and renal medicine. They can assist in performing complex procedures on patients, operate and manage specialist medical devices and prepare treatments such as radioactive injections.
Clinical technologists can routinely give IV POM, perform SPECT/CT and PET/CT as they operate under a Statutory Instrument, The Human Medicine Regulations 2012, to give POM, including radioactive POM. What they lack is access to the legislative frameworks open to radiographers as a registered profession, for example, they cannot use Patient Group Directives, which would be useful for giving IV CT contrast.
Lobby group formed
During the course of 2021, IPEM has pulled together a group of like-minded organisations to agree on the next steps to take. The group includes the Register of Clinical Technologists, the British Nuclear Medicine Society, the Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estate Management, the Association of Renal Technologists, the Registration Council for Clinical Physiologists, the Academy for Healthcare Science, the British Society of Echocardiography, and the British Medical Ultrasound Society.
This group has met throughout the year to agree on terms of reference and drawn up a position statement.
In addition, questions on the issue have been asked in parliament, whilst IPEM also organised and facilitated a roundtable podcast on the government’s Health and Social Care White Paper, which saw the matter raised with panellists including Angela Douglas MBE, Deputy Chief Scientific Officer for NHS England, and others.
An experienced public affairs consultancy agency has been engaged and has helped identify a range of key stakeholders, including MPs, peers, civil servants and health professionals who are now being approached to try and ascertain their views on the current situation and the likelihood of achieving statutory registration for clinical technologists, which is still a priority for IPEM.
Dr Robert Farley, President of IPEM, said: ‘Although government policy over the last decade has been against the statutory regulation of new aspirant professional groups, such a step in the case of clinical technologists would address a real issue by optimising patient outcomes and supporting better service delivery within the NHS, both now and in the long term.
‘The Health and Social Care Bill is the first substantial health legislation under the current government, and it seems a good time to seek the views of key stakeholders on this key issue.’
IPEM has produced a briefing paper 'A new regulatory framework for clinical technologists'.