New academy to train radiologists is due to open next year

Welsh Health Secretary Vaughan Gething has announced a new academy to train the next generation of radiologists and imaging professionals (Welsh Government, 2017).

The new National Imaging Academy for Wales, which is being established with £3.4m funding from the Welsh Government, will be based in Pencoed. The new purpose designed state of the art facility will allow for an increase in the capacity to train clinical radiologists in Wales. The Academy is expected to be operational by mid 2018.

The new academy will provide a modern, innovative, specialist training environment to enhance the learning experience of trainees in partnership with current training provision at hospital sites throughout South Wales. It will help deliver the Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) curriculum in a dedicated environment through workstation suites, simulation training and a lecture theatre. Consultant radiologists from across South Wales will provide seminars and supervision for trainees on imaging studies, including the interpretation of X-rays, CT and MR scans.

Initially, the academy will focus on training radiologists but will extend to include radiographers, sonographers and other imaging professionals who are critical to ensuring a sustainable imaging workforce for the future. Its establishment will allow for an increase in the clinical imaging workforce and the number of trained clinical radiologists in Wales, which in turn, will improve services to patients across Wales.

Vaughan Gething said “I’m pleased to approve a £3.4m funding package to establish the new National Imaging Academy for Wales. Radiologists and those in the imaging workforce play a crucial role in supporting medical and clinical staff with high quality imaging investigations and timely reports, which allows doctors to deliver the very best care to patients. The new academy will play an important role in allowing us to increase in the number of trained radiologists in the Welsh NHS to ensure a sustainable, high quality workforce for the future.”

Dr Phillip Wardle, Consultant Radiologist at Cwm Taf UHB and Clinical Lead for the National Imaging Academy for Wales, said “We are delighted that the Welsh Government and Health Boards are supporting the establishment of the National Imaging Academy for Wales. The academy will help address the challenges facing imaging and clinical radiology, providing Wales with a high quality and sustainable radiologist workforce for the future. The academy will enable a significant increase in the capacity of radiology training, emulating successful academy models in other parts of the UK. We are hugely excited to move to an academy model of training that will help address the imaging workforce situation and achieve NHS Wales’ service aims and ambitions for diagnostics and improved management outcomes for patients.”

It is intended that the academy will continue to develop, to become a hub for innovation and research and to play a role in the education and training of the wider imaging workforce in NHS Wales, such as radiographers and sonographers.

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