Healthcare organisations that use ionising radiation for medical purposes e.g. x-ray

What is ionising radiation in healthcare?

Ionising radiation in healthcare is used in a range of different ways and falls under three broad categories:

  1. Diagnostic imaging: e.g. x-rays to take pictures of teeth and bone in dental practices and hospitals
  2. Radiotherapy: e.g. to treat disease such as certain types of cancer
  3. Nuclear medicine: e.g. to diagnose and determine the severity of or treat a variety of diseases and other abnormalities within the body using small amounts of radioactive material. 

All healthcare organisations using ionising radiation must comply with The Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2017.

Who we inspect

We inspect NHS healthcare organisations that use ionising radiation for medical purposes in Wales, to make sure that they are safe for people receiving treatment. 

How we monitor compliance

We are responsible for monitoring compliance against IR(ME)R, we do this by:

  • Inspecting organisations that use ionising radiation
  • Reviewing incidents notified to us involving ‘exposures much greater than intended’
  • Considering how dental practices comply with IR(ME)R, as part of our dental practice inspections

How we inspect

We look at how services:

Our inspections of healthcare services using ionising radiation are usually announced. Services receive up to twelve weeks notice of an inspection.

The inspections are conducted by at least one HIW inspector and are supported by a Senior Clinical Officer from Public Health England (PHE), acting in an advisory capacity. 

The following document provides guidance about what we will look at during an inspection. If you would like a copy of our inspection workbook please contact hiwinspections@gov.wales

Documents

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