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New reports on compliance with exposure to ionising radiation regulations

By Reporter - 24th Aug 2023

HIQA published 22 inspection reports assessing compliance with medical exposure to ionising radiation regulations in seven dental facilities and 15 medical facilities.

The inspections were carried out between February and May this year and the reports were published today.

Of the 15 medical facilities inspected, full compliance with the regulations was found in Marymount University Hospital and Hospice, Cork and the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH), in Dún Laoghaire, Dublin. The Incorporated Orthopaedic Hospital of Ireland, Clontarf, Dublin and Mayo University Hospital were fully compliant in all but one of the regulations assessed.

In a statement the Authority noted that some examples of good practice observed by inspectors included, the systems and processes in place at the NRH that allowed for regular monitoring of compliance. The Authority also highlighted the methods and approaches used for optimising high dose procedures in the Blackrock Clinic and Beacon Hospital in Dublin.

South Tipperary University Hospital and University Hospital Limerick (UHL) had previously been inspected as part of HIQA’s monitoring programme, and were “found to have taken steps to address previous gaps in compliance”.

“Similarly, University Hospital Limerick had made improvements to come into compliance with the regulations,” said HIQA in the statement. “However, further improvements were required in order to become fully compliant.”

Overall, areas HIQA identified for additional focus generally included “ensuring that responsibilities are allocated appropriately as per the requirements of the regulations, are known by staff, and are documented accurately and reflective of local practice”.

“HIQA continues to engage with undertakings where non-compliances are found.”

Medical exposure to ionising radiation is when radiation is used as part of diagnosis such as an X-ray or computed tomography (CT) scan, or the use of radiotherapy as part of cancer treatment at a hospital. It also includes radiation received for medical research purposes and radiation received by carers and comforters while attending to a patient.

Full reports can be found at www.hiqa.ie

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