The Care Quality Commission (CQC)’s annual report on Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations in England has been published.
The report gives a breakdown of the number and type of statutory notifications of errors received from healthcare providers in 2018/19 where patients were exposed to ionising radiation. These notifications are where there have been significant accidental or unintended exposures, for example where a patient received a higher dose than intended or where the wrong patient was exposed.
Professor Ted Baker, CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said:“It is important that organisations learn from incidents and take action to mitigate any risks when patients are exposed to ionising radiation from x-rays, radiotherapy or radiopharmaceuticals as part of their diagnosis or treatment."
“The number of errors involving patients is small in the context of the many millions of procedures undertaken each year involving radiation. That said, in too many cases errors happen as a result of inadequate checks, poor communication, or because of a simple failure follow procedures around radiation protection."
The report includes recommended actions that providers can take to improve compliance with the regulations and the quality and safety of care for patients. It also shares examples of good practice to help leaders and healthcare professionals identify where they can make improvements in their own services.