Developing the radiation protection safety culture in the UK healthcare sector

Author(s): Pete Cole, Claire-Louise Chapple, Jim Thurston, Andy Rogers, Maria Murray, Peter Riley, Andy Bradley, Jill Reay

Hospital: University of Liverpool, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals, The Royal Marsden Hospital, Nottingham University Hospitals, the SCoR, University Hospitals Birmingham, Central Manchester University Hospitals, Aurora Health Physics Services

Reference: RAD Magazine, 42, 492, 25-27


The radiation safety culture of any organisation is defined by the attitudes, behaviour and actions of its stakeholders towards radiation safety. It depends on all stakeholders at all levels within and outside the organisation. To achieve and maintain a good safety culture requires a comprehensive and sustained effort and integration of good working practices at all levels. Strong positive leadership by the management team is key, along with regular audit, inspection and review. The latter must be relevant to the work being undertaken and should be proportional to the level of risk and existing culture.

Efforts to improve and maintain safety culture vary, but include: Promoting positive reinforcement by sustained and active management leadership; regular audits of compliance with regulations and sector best practice guidance; testing to ensure service standards are being consistently achieved and maintained; and methods for identifying and taking action to rectify problems with safety management systems.

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