Providing paediatric ultrasound in a district general hospital

Author(s): Carol Brown, Iwan Roberts

Hospital: Rotherham General Hospital

Reference: RAD Magazine, 44, 514, 11-12


Radiology department managers face a major problem when it comes to providing paediatric ultrasound within a district general hospital (DGH), as there is a lack of available professionals with the relevant skills.

Our experience is that student sonographers receive very limited paediatric experience during their training and may graduate with a lack of confidence in their paediatric abilities. Sonographers with specialist paediatric skills may gravitate towards a tertiary centre with high paediatric admissions and a specialist workload.

Paediatric imaging represents just under 10% of DGH activity and the national shortage of radiologists is a major issue for paediatric radiology. Although much of paediatrics remains well within the capability of a district general radiologist, increasing specialisation can make it hard to maintain core skills and clinical confidence. Our hospital relies heavily on general radiologists to provide emergency cover for imaging sick children and we need to ensure that they are supported.

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