We are dedicated to equal opportunities, we value diversity, and we aim to promote and reward team spirit. Respect is the cement of our multicultural group. We provide our employees with the opportunity to achieve their goals by exalting professionalism and promoting professional education.
Lately, it has been so lovely to be able to meet people face to face and to catch up with those we have not been able to see for the past two years. I know that the Covid-19 pandemic is not yet over, however, the return to some sense of new normal has been wonderful. As a profession, we have seen many changes and huge increases to our workload, and we continue to contribute to the health and wellbeing of the population.
This year, Imaging & Oncology has gone digital! There will be no paper copies of this edition. I think it looks amazing and want to thank Colin Cooper and his team, along with Charlotte Beardmore for her continuing support and guidance. Thank you to all the authors who have contributed to this issue.
The future direction of the profession is a theme in this edition, with Jacqueline Matthew highlighting how artificial intelligence will continue to shape clinical practice within ultrasound, and an article by Angela Meadows and Rayjanah Allie on the growth and progression of PET-CT. Beverly Snaith and Charlotte Beardmore reflect on the four-tier structure in clinical imaging and discuss opportunities that have not yet been realised.
Undergraduate education and innovations in practice-based learning are the theme of Emma Hyde’s paper, in which she discusses some new approaches to pre-registration diagnostic radiography placements. Alison Sanneh and Wesley Doherty introduce their innovative digital online virtual placement in proton beam therapy, developed at the Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust for pre-registration therapeutic radiography students from across the UK. Richard Griffin encourages us to support our support workers and outlines the Supporting Success project, which recognises the contribution our Band 2, 3 and 4 workers play in diagnostic imaging services and how they can be rewarded.
It is always important to consider our service users and to recognise their contribution to our profession. Members of the College of Radiographers Patient Advisory Group discuss their input to the new Quality Standard for Imaging and what it means for patients and the public. Janice St. John-Matthews and colleagues also recognise patients and the public, as well as the wider allied health professions (AHP) workforce, in their article about co-producing the next AHP Strategy for England. The project used crowdsourcing with patients, the public and AHPs to develop the next five-year strategy. Martine Harris and Amy Taylor provide some top tips on embedding a research culture in clinical radiography, which follows on from the updated College of Radiographers Research Strategy, published in 2021.
It is fitting for us to end this editorial with some reflections on Covid-19. Two of our managers, Karen Smith and Elizabeth Ladd, have written a reflective piece that reviews what we all went through in imaging and radiotherapy services, where we are now and what we have learnt. As we start to recover from the pandemic, let us remember just what an adaptable profession we are and be proud of all that we have accomplished.
I hope that you will all find something to take away for your own practice. Happy reading.
Dr Ruth Strudwick
Editor, Imaging & Oncology. Associate Professor and Professional Lead for Radiography and Interprofessional Learning in the School of Health and Sports Sciences at the University of Suffolk
Imaging & Oncology was founded in 2005 with the aim of gathering leading thinkers in the fields of clinical imaging and oncology to look at where these professions might be heading in the future. The publication was launched in the year I qualified as a radiographer and, since then, there have been huge changes in technology, research, professional practice and leadership within radiography. A read through previous editions reveals how they have identified upcoming changes and challenges, and also how this platform has been used to share innovations and best practice.
This issue is the product of a year’s worth of collaborative hard work during a difficult and pressured time for services and staff. I commend the authors and editor for pulling together a thought-provoking edition – it contains a breadth of expertise that highlights the highly complex challenges and problems facing the professions post pandemic and gives due regard to the impact of policy measures that support inclusive development.
One of the great privileges of being President is the opportunity to connect with radiographers and other imaging and oncology professionals. This past year we have started to see the move from pandemic working to pandemic recovery, and the constant spectre of workforce and capacity have dominated throughout. This can be seen reflected in this edition of Imaging & Oncology, where there is a particular focus on delivering practice placements, the multidisciplinary team and support workers, AI and leadership. These articles contribute to filling gaps in our understanding of how processes might support best practice, despite adverse political and economic dynamics. They also illustrate the broader intent that lies at the heart of our professional culture, which seeks to serve as a bridge between academic research and policy making.
This publication is a testament to the determination of the professions to advance the knowledge base and bridge the gaps between different disciplines and the stakeholders relevant to the development of services and care. While I hope this collection will appeal to first-time readers, I am confident that the volume will raise interest among our regular readership of practitioners across the professions, thanks to the relevance and diversity of the contributions.
It is my privilege and pleasure to write this foreword and enthusiastically recommend this 2022 edition of Imaging & Oncology.
President, the Society and College of Radiographers