Senior doctors have warned a lack of radiologists, especially interventional radiologists, is putting patients at risk.

The government revealed more than a quarter of NHS Trusts in England don’t have enough radiologists, meaning patients needing surgery often have to experience more invasive operations, leading to putting them at higher risk.

Recent figures have revealed on average there is 44 per cent fewer interventional radiologists than the NHS need. Other figures have shown 39 out of 148 NHS Trusts in England are unable to offer a radiology service seven days a week, as there isn’t enough of them.

Dr Nicola Strickland, President of the Royal College of Radiologists said: “There is no doubt that around the country people are dying or coming to serious harm due to the lack of interventional radiology provision in their area, although we can’t explicitly quantify how many people die or suffer because they do not get seen by an interventional radiologist.”

However, a Department of Health spokesman has said: “There are 29 per cent more clinical radiologists than in 2010, and Health Education England is running an additional 35 clinical radiology training programmes each year 2017 to 2021.”

“We expect trust boards to take responsibility for safe staffing in their hospitals, and support doctors to decide the best course of action for their patients.”

 

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