Launch of the Society and College of Radiographer’s Manifesto for tomorrow’s NHS

Earlier this week, Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Rt Hon Andy Burnham MP, Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter MP and Liberal Democrat Care Spokesman Paul Burstow MP joined guests from across the health sector to launch the Society and College of Radiographers’ Manifesto for tomorrow’s NHS: diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy services.  Organised by Connect Communications, the parliamentary reception was hosted by Clive Efford MP.

The event celebrated the extensive work of radiographers. Nine in every ten patients who attend hospital are seen by a radiographer for diagnostic imaging or treatment. The Society’s manifesto calls on the new Government to recognise this contribution. They are asking for specific recognition of the fact that radiographers are leaders in cancer care; that access to the latest and most effective clinical imaging technologies needs to be assured; and that there are enough training places to ensure a solid future for the profession.

Karen Smith, President of the Society and College of Radiographers challenged all the political parties to speak up for radiographers in their manifestos at the General Election.

Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter MP spoke about his personal experience as a doctor, highlighting the incredible role that radiographers play within the NHS every day, with 1.5 million procedures performed last year by radiologists and only one per cent of patients having to wait more than six weeks for treatment. He praised the work of radiographers and said “our NHS simply couldn’t function without you”. The Minister said the Cancer Therapy Innovation Fund and a £250m investment in proton beam therapy showed the Conservatives were investing in radiography – however he acknowledged that more training and investment is needed.

Shadow Secretary of State for Health Andy Burnham MP, who earlier in the day had launched Labour’s 10-Year Plan for health and care, agreed with the key messages of the manifesto, and heralded early diagnosis as “the new frontier”.  He reiterated the need for a lively debate on health ahead of the General Election and said that this manifesto was part of making that happen. He thanked the Society of Radiographers for pushing the political parties further and challenging politicians on important healthcare issues.

Former Minister of State for Care and Support, and Liberal Democrat Spokesperson, Paul Burstow MP said the manifesto reflected “common sense” principles, and hoped the proposals would spur on a robust debate between the parties, especially on funding for radiographers and the NHS. He said the Government are still working together up until the General Election and trying to improve access to cancer services for patients, especially in the area of early diagnosis.

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