Professional Standards Update

13th Jun 2019

5 months into my tenure as the PSG chair and I’m pleased to report that the wheels are certainly in motion ensuring BMUS continues to take a frontline approach to professional excellence.

The first meeting of the PSG this year took place in February and proved to be a forward thinking, successful meeting, setting out the projects we hope to achieve within the next 2 years. As the future cannot be accurately predicted (as yet), we took the opportunity to ask the group to do some ‘Horizon Scanning’ in anticipation of the future direction of Ultrasound Practice to ensure relevant collaborations and projects continuing to underpin recommendations for quality and safe practice by ultrasound practitioners.

There has been a recent minor interim update to the ‘Guidelines for Professional Ultrasound Practice’ released in March 2019, which BMUS members have access to via the BMUS website. The updates include links to PCOS imaging recommendations, multi-profession CPD advice, BMUS guidance on scanning volunteers (including pregnant volunteers) and a new Society and College of Radiographers (SCoR) document on the recording of images by patients. Over the coming year BMUS will be compiling a major revision of the Guidlelines in conjunction with the SCoR.

A major undertaking for the PSG will be the production of justification guidance for paediatric ultrasound requests to go alongside the justification document already in place for adult general medical ultrasound requests, this guidance has proven to be immeasurably useful to the production of local protocols in the UK. A team of experts will be collating the most up-to-date evidence and research in order that our smaller patients receive the right test at the right time by the right practitioner. This guidance links to GIRFT (Getting It Right First Time) a national project which we aim to highlight in our ASM Professional Issues programme by one of the UK GIRFT leads, at Ultrasound 2019 in Harrogate on 10th – 12th December.

Following on from this – we need the help of our members. You will shortly receive a survey asking our members about your local ultrasound protocols, whether indeed your departments all have them, use them and keep them up-to-date and how the documents and guidance BMUS has produced is being used. We will be looking into the barriers as to why some departments do not use national guidance as effectively as they might, or if alternative methods of keeping patients and staff safe are being employed locally. BMUS is committed to promoting education and excellence and safety amongst all practitioners who use ultrasound and research into this area is essential.

The group will also be reviewing existing documentation, updating and providing additions where necessary – one addition that will become be useful to all ultrasound practitioners will be the work put forward on the ‘management of incidental findings’. Ongoing reviews to clinical guidance are at the heart of the PSG’s work – updates will always be brought to your attention using Ultrapost, the BMUS website and Twitter/Facebook, so #makesureyouaresignedup! to keep abreast of developments.

We will continue to work with our Radiology colleagues closely on joint RCR and SCoR projects to ensure combined expert representation in the field of ultrasound from our SIG committees.

As you can see from this brief report of the Professional Standards Group first meeting of 2019 – there is a lot to keep the expert team busy!

Finally an unmissable date for the diary alert!!! The 51st Annual Scientific Meeting is being held at Harrogate International Conference Centre on 10th-12th December 2019 - the Professional Issues Stream will be informative, enlightening and educational covering hot topics affecting ultrasound practice including patient advocates, legal issues, CASE/HEE, GIRFT, CQC, ISAS and many more acronyms!!

Catherine Kirkpatrick

BMUS Development Officer

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