The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) annual report on activity in 2013/2014 relating to the enforcement of The Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2000 in England is now available.
The annual report gives information about the CQC’s inspections, the notifications received from healthcare providers when patients receive exposures that are ‘much greater than intended’, and enforcement activity in this area.
During 2013/14, the CQC received 968 notifications, an increase on the previous year of some 45%. The rise has been mainly attributed to an amendment made in 2012 to guidance by the Department of Health to the definition of what should be reported.
Of the 968 notifications, 781 (81% of the total) were from diagnostic radiology, 49 from nuclear medicine and 138 were from radiotherapy departments.
The CQC states:
“We believe that transparency is a key driver in transformational change, and that notifying such exposures to us is essential so that organisations learn from the error, which helps to mitigate the risks of repeat errors.”
SCoR Chief Executive Richard Evans commented:
“Once again, the IR(ME)R inspectorate team at the Care Quality Commission has produced a very clear and surprisingly readable report covering its work in 2013.
All radiographers should take time to read it, particularly as it provides a great example of how a growing sense of trust between the professional clinical community and the regulator, combined with honesty and transparency over reporting errors and near misses leads to improved services and safety for patients and staff alike.”