Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 25th July 2018.

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Photo of Stephen Morgan Stephen Morgan Labour, Portsmouth South

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to tackle variations in radiology reporting timescales.

Photo of Stephen Barclay Stephen Barclay Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The Care Quality Commission’s recent report on radiology services in England recommends that National Health Service trust boards should ensure that they have effective oversight of any backlog of radiology reports; risks to patients are fully assessed and managed; and staffing and other resources are used effectively to ensure examinations are reported in an appropriate timeframe.

It also recommends that the National Imaging Optimisation Delivery Board should advise on national standards for report turnaround times, so that trusts can monitor and benchmark their performance, and that the Royal College of Radiologists and the Society and College of Radiographers should make sure that clear frameworks are developed to support trusts in managing turnaround times safely.

NHS Improvement is overseeing the NHS’s response to the report and its recommendations and providing support to providers. Some of the other recommendations fall to the relevant professional societies, and the Department is supporting them, where helpful, to meet those recommendations.

Alongside its partners, NHS Improvement will support the National Imaging Optimisation Delivery Board to advise on national standards for report turnaround times so that trusts can monitor and benchmark performance.

Through its Operational Productivity programme, NHS Improvement will also continue to support trusts to improve their imaging services, ensuring that all patients have access to safe and efficient care.

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