• How to achieve consultant practitioner status: A discussion paper

      Hardy, Maryann L.; Snaith, Beverly (2007-11)
      Non-medical consultant posts are a relatively new addition to the National Health Service (NHS) workforce, the role first being announced for nurses in 1998 followed by the Allied Health Professions in 2000. They have been described as multidimensional positions that encompass the four core functions of consultant practice: expert clinical practice; professional leadership and consultancy; practice and service development, research and evaluation; education and professional development. Consequently, the purpose of non-medical consultants is to promote and develop practice at the clinical, strategic and policy level. Despite the professional drive to develop consultant radiographer roles, by the end of 2005 only 15 were in post. One of the reasons for this poor appointment rate is the deficiency in suitably qualified and experienced candidates, a finding acknowledged to be an issue across all the non-medical professions. Further, the development of potential consultant practitioners has been hampered by the lack of clearly defined clinical and educational pathways. This paper acknowledges the limited published material available to radiographers wishing to advance to consultant positions. Yet while recognising the need to establish a true consultant career pathway underpinned by an appropriate education and research strategy, it explores the requirements of consultant practice, identifying some opportunities available to radiographers to develop appropriate consultant level skills.