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Radiation Protection & Diagnostic Radiology

Dose Assessment

The group provides advice on the safe use of ionsing radiation and non-ionising radiation in compliance with UK legislation. This includes input to the design of new facilities to ensure adequate protection, assessment of risk arising from exposure to radiation, routine patient dose audits, and environment monitoring. Teaching and training courses in ionising radiation and in laser safety are provided for staff working with radiation.

Dose assessments are carried out for staff, patients, and the environment, both routinely and when requested. This ensures that radiation doses to all groups are as low as possible, and within national guidelines. When required, assessments are also made of health risks arising from radiation exposure, for example as part of a submission to ethics committee or when an imaging examination of a pregnant patient is required. The accompanying photograph shows the phantom that is used to simulate a person in order to measure radiation doses from x-ray examinations

fluoroscopy unit
Image quality checks on a fluoroscopy unit

Advice is given on equipment procurement and the design of x-ray facilities, including assessments of surrounding walls and barriers to ensure sufficient protection from radiation.

At approximately yearly intervals, each x-ray unit is tested in order to optimise image quality, ensure dose levels are comparable to national standards and confirm radiation safety measures remain satisfactory.

The following units are included in these surveys: general X-ray tubes and generators, mobile equipment, CT, fluoroscopy, dental, mammography (in line with the NHS Breast Screening Programme), specimen cabinets, bone densitometry and Radiotherapy simulator.

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