• Embedding consultant radiographer roles within radiology departments: A framework for success

      Nightingale, J.; Hardy, Maryann L.; Snaith, Beverly (2018-11)
      Objectives: Many organisations struggle to clearly differentiate the radiographer consultant role from advanced or specialist practice, with newly appointed consultant practitioners often illprepared for working at this level. This article discusses the design, implementation and validation of an outcomes framework for benchmarking competencies for trainee or new-in-post consultant radiographers. Methods: Five experienced radiographers from different clinical specialisms were seconded to a twelve month consultant trainee post, guided by a locally-devised outcomes framework. A longitudinal qualitative study explored, from the radiographers' perspective, the impact of the outcomes framework on the transition to consultant practice and beyond. Data collection included semi-structured interviews (months 1, 6 and 12), validation via a focus group (month 18) and a group interview (5 years). Results: Early interactions with framework objectives were mechanistic, but as participants better understood the role more creative approaches emerged. Despite diverse clinical expertise, the framework facilitated parity between participants, promoting transparency and credibility which was important in how the consultant role was perceived. All participants achieved all framework outcomes and were subsequently appointed to substantive consultant radiographer positions. Conclusion This outcomes framework facilitates experienced radiographers to successfully transition into consultant radiographers, enabling them to meet multiple non-clinical targets while continuing to work effectively within a changing clinical environment. It is the first validated benchmarking tool designed to support the transition to radiographer consultant practice. Adoption of the tool will provide a standardised measure of consultant radiographer outcomes that will promote inter-organisational transferability hitherto unseen in the UK.