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X-Ray Service

Volume 114: debated on Tuesday 7 April 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has any plans to meet the Society of Radiographers to discuss the future needs of the X-ray service within the National Health Service.

I am sure that the Minister will be aware of the concern of the Society of Radiographers that it was not consulted before the Forrest report on screening for breast cancer was published. Is he aware that the society thinks that 600 additional radiographers are needed to cope with the additional work load? Is he also aware that last October the Society of Radiographers said that its school was 34 per cent. below the numbers needed to meet the demand? What do the Government intend to do to ensure that the Society of Radiographers is able to train sufficient radiographers to enable the breast screening programme to go ahead?

The hon. Lady has asked quite a number of questions. The advice that has been given to me, based on the Forrest report, is that only about 200 additional radiographers will be needed for the programme in the next three years. To answer the main thrust of the hon. Lady's question, the Department of Health and Social Security, the regional scientific officers of the National Health Service and the College of Radiographers have made a joint submission to the manpower planning advisory group for a study of radiography manpower to be completed in time for the 1988 student intake.