We have prepared a template letter to make contacting your MP as quick and easy as possible.
Copy the text below, add your details in the emboldened sections and send it to your MP, or add your own thoughts. A workforce briefing document (PDF) is also available to download and include.
House of Commons
Dear [MP’s name]
RE: Support for your local radiologist
I am writing to you as a constituent and a clinical radiologist working at [FILL IN TRUST/HOSPITAL NAME HERE]. I am sure you are aware of the local and national workforce shortages in radiology and how these shortages are severely affecting the number of patients that we are able to diagnose quickly.
We are very much heartened by the recent addition of 110 additional clinical radiology trainee places in England next year. However, we need continued investment if we are going to be able to meet patient demand and the turnaround times necessary to ensure good outcomes. I write, therefore, to ask for you to support calls by The Royal College of Radiologists for the UK government to commit to funding 110 additional clinical radiology trainee places in England every year for the next four years in the upcoming comprehensive spending review.
As you may know, clinical radiologists are specialist doctors who diagnose cancer, as well as other diseases and injuries, by interpreting scans, including X-rays, MRI and CT. The NHS radiologist workforce is now short-staffed by 33% and needs at least another 1,939 consultants just to keep up with pre-coronavirus levels of demand for scans.
Understaffed radiology departments across the UK are working hard to bring down backlogs caused by last year’s pause in non-urgent hospital work due to COVID-19, while having to scan at a slower rate because of infection control and social distancing measures. Currently, more than half (58%) of radiology clinical directors say they do not have enough diagnostic and interventional radiologists to keep patients safe.
While overall scanning activity has now returned to pre-COVID-19 levels, it must increase to work through the backlog of patients waiting for diagnosis as a result of reduction of scans during the pandemic.
I would also welcome a visit to [NAME OF HOSPITAL/TRUST] so you can see for yourself the important work that we do, interpreting scans, guiding surgery and informing treatment.
I hope you will support these calls and I look forward to hearing from you.