Why is radiation protection important?

Any exposure to ionising radiation carries a risk of causing cancer and above certain levels there is also a risk of tissue effects such as erythema, hair loss and cataracts.

For most common radiographic exposures, this risk is extremely small. However, as the risk is proportional to the level of exposure, it's important to ensure exposures are kept as low as possible. This is the ALARP principle (as low as reasonably practicable), which is enshrined in UK legislation in the IR(ME)R 2000 regulations for the protection of patients.

For staff working with ionising radiation, the Trust has a responsibility to ensure doses are ALARP and that doses do not exceed legal limits. This is a requirement of the IRR 99 regulations and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The radiation safety group assists the Trust in providing a safe working environment for staff and an optimised service for patients in compliance with UK legislation. We therefore fulfil an essential role within the Trust health and safety framework.