Care Quality Commission
CQC reports on radiation incidents
Our annual report on activity relating to our enforcement of the Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations in England has been published.
The report gives a breakdown of the number and type of notifications we received from healthcare providers when patients were exposed to radiation either when it was unintended or when they received a higher dose than intended during the 2017 calendar year and the first quarter of 2018.
In this reporting period, we received 1,226 notifications of incidents. This is in the context of around 40 million procedures carried out on patients during the 2017/18 financial year. Although notifications relate to errors and incidents where there is risk of harm to patients, the majority of over-exposures do not result in harm.
In 2017, the number of notifications decreased by 28% compared with the number received during 2016. However, this is not thought to be due to improving practice, but is a result of changes introduced in January 2017 to the guidance about the type of incidents that need to be notified to CQC.
Of all the notifications we received, 975 (80% of the total) were from diagnostic radiology departments, 94 were from nuclear medicine and 157 notifications were from radiotherapy departments.
The report also presents the key findings from our inspections of departments, either reactive to a notification or concern or as part of our programme of planned inspections, alongside details of our enforcement activity in this area.
In 2017, we issued improvement notices to two hospital trusts following concerns identified on our IR(ME)R inspections. Further information can be found on our IR(ME)R enforcement page.
Professor Ted Baker, CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, yesterday said:
"It is important that organisations learn from incidents and take action to mitigate the risks of repeating errors to protect patients from risks when they are exposed to radiation from x-rays, radiotherapy or radiopharmaceuticals as part of their diagnosis or treatment.
"Many errors happen simply because of poor communication and unclear responsibilities. We want this report to remind clinical departments of the importance of a strong safety culture in including carrying out essential safety checks. I hope that they will learn from the examples in this report to ensure they provide safe services to patients.”
The report also provides early feedback on the implementation of the new regulations that came into force in February 2018, and shares examples of the actions that some providers have taken to improve, to help leaders and healthcare professionals identify where they can make improvements in their own services.
- CQC is the enforcement authority for the IR(ME)R regulations in England.
- In February 2018, the new Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2017replaced the 2000 regulations (including amendments made in 2006 and 2011).
- Incidents can be reported here.
- Further information about ionising radiation and how we enforce the regulations is also available here.
Latest News from
Care Quality Commission
CQC shares previously unpublished findings of 2015 inspection of Whorlton Hall11/06/2019 13:25:00
Ian Trenholm and Dr Paul Lelliott will be appearing before the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) on Wednesday 12 June to answer questions about CQC’s regulation of Whorlton Hall.
CQC launches new Equality Objectives for 2019-2106/06/2019 14:20:00
We have now confirmed our Equality Objectives for 2019-21. These objectives ensure that equality is front and centre, both in our regulatory work, and for our staff.
Medicines in health and adult social care: Learning from risks and sharing good practice for better outcomes06/06/2019 13:20:00
Our new report describes lessons for better medicines optimisation across health and social care providers and the positive impact of involving pharmacy professionals in health and social care settings.
Independent review into regulation of Whorlton Hall03/06/2019 09:20:00
CQC has commissioned David Noble QSO to undertake an independent review into how it dealt with concerns raised by Barry Stanley-Wilkinson in relation to the regulation of Whorlton Hall.
CQC calls for action to fix the closed system that leads to people with a learning disability or autism being segregated in hospital21/05/2019 15:20:00
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is calling for an independent review of every person who is being held in segregation in mental health wards for children and young people and wards for people with a learning disability or autism.
What do the forthcoming elections mean for CQC?10/04/2019 14:05:00
With local elections on 2 May, you may have heard about public bodies, like CQC, having to respect a ‘pre-election period’, which places certain restrictions on what we’re allowed to publish and announce in the period before an election. What we can continue during the pre-election period is our ‘business as usual’ activity – delivering our regulatory role.
New agreement between CQC and the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB)03/04/2019 09:20:00
CQC and the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) yesterday published a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreement.
Care Quality Commission fees for 2019/20 confirmed28/03/2019 12:20:00
Changes to the fees that CQC will charge providers of health and adult social care in England for the year 2019/20 have now been confirmed and will take effect from 1 April this year.
CQC has today published updated data profiles for local authority areas in England20/03/2019 14:15:00
The local authority area data profiles bring together data to give an indication of how different services work together, providing a picture of the health and social care system in each local authority area.