Why do we need more radiographers?

The Society of Radiographers (SoR) is balloting its members for strike action after rejecting the government’s latest pay offer. 

It says that improvements to wages and working conditions could help boost recruitment and retention – in turn, significantly reducing waiting times for patients.

Currently, as many as a million patients are awaiting radiology treatment. 

Considering 90% of patients in the NHS are supported by a radiography professional, far too few are being recruited or retained, meaning patients are being left without treatment and diagnosis for months. 

Dean Rogers, SoR director of industrial strategy, said: “Doctors and nurses cannot do their jobs without our members – the radiographers, sonographers, mammographers, therapeutic radiographers and radiology support workforce. Waiting lists are growing and, for a cancer patient awaiting diagnosis and radiotherapy treatment, even a two-week wait can mean the difference between life and death.

“Currently, radiographers work considerably more than their contracted hours. But while they work longer hours, they have faced real-terms cuts to their pay since 2008. While total average weekly earnings have increased by 55 per cent since 2008, the wage increase for our members has been less than half that.

“Low pay and increased hours mean that many radiographers are leaving the NHS, and they are not being replaced in adequate numbers. Vacancies are running at a minimum of 10 per cent – indeed, since 2020, the number of mammographers has increased by just one.

“Many radiographers are moving from the NHS to agencies, where higher pay – often two or three times their NHS salary – means that they don’t need to work excessive overtime and will have better work-life balance. If the government wants to reduce NHS waiting lists and ensure that patients receive the treatment they need, when they need it, then it must urgently prioritise the recruitment and retention of radiography professionals.  

“But the government won’t even talk to us about the fair and reasonable steps required to do this, which is why we feel we have no other option but to ballot our members for strike action.” 

Here at Amaré Health, we are committed to providing a rigorously high standard of personnel to our clients because we understand the importance of providing exceptional healthcare. 

If you need radiology positions filled quickly and effectively, give our specialist team a call on 0203 929 4017 or email [email protected].