The introduction, deployment and impact of assistant practitioners in diagnostic radiography in Scotland
Authors: Price, R., Miller, L., Hicks, B. and Higgs, A.
This article describes the outcomes of an evaluation of the impact of introducing Assistant Practitioners (AP) roles into imaging departments in 13 of the 14 NHS Boards in Scotland.
Between 2006 and 2009 some 34 individuals were trained as APs in diagnostic radiography with 33 subsequently taking up AP posts. In 2010 NHS Education for Scotland commissioned an evaluation of the impact brought about through introduction of the diagnostic imaging AP role in imaging departments.
The research found that a minority of the managers had considered the workforce implications of introducing the new roles or the supervisory arrangements that would be required. In some sites implementation of the roles had resulted in the release of radiographers for additional training and higher level activities, but in others financial constraints had limited such initiatives. Managers believed that APs had helped maintain or improve service capacity and quality.