Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Trust closes skills gap through radiology skills ladderOn 16 Sep 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. The Royal West Sussex NHS Trust has created a workforce developmentprogramme that has led to improved patient care and helped meet skill shortagesin radiology. Radiographers are in short supply nationally with vacancy rates averagingaround 8 per cent. In the south, however, vacancy rates of up to 25 per centare not unusual. Radiologists, the medical consultant staff who lead complex examinations,are also in short supply. The trust established a skills ladder to develop support staff. This hasenabled radiographer department assistants to train as assistant practitionersat the University of Portsmouth. Once qualified, they enable the trust’s radiographers to concentrate on morecomplex examinations and on the more seriously ill patients. Katherine Scannell, acting deputy director of HR, said the trust wanted tobreak down traditional boundaries, allow people to upskill, and reward peoplefor skills they had. “At the early stages we took quite a chance,” she said. “Butassistant and advanced practitioners are now coming through [the training] andare in place to make this work. “Patients are being seen by the person with the most appropriate skillsfor their case,” she added. Nick Ashford, clinical director, said the changes were designed because ofneed, but the strategy has worked. “HR have been visionary,” he said. “[You need to] take a fewrisks, to break out of tradition. You may fail, but you have to do it to goforward.” Last week the trust won the overall award at the Association of HealthcareHuman Resource Management’s Excellence in Strategic HRM Awards 2003.