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Huw Shurmer – Programme Manager Wales, Fujifilm; Dr Phillip Wardle – Director of National Imaging Academy Wales
In July 2017, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething, announced a £3.4 million fund to commission a new Academy to train the next generation of radiologists and imaging professionals across Wales.
The new National Imaging Academy Wales opened in August 2018 to help address the chronic shortage of radiologists in Wales. This situation is not unique to Wales, and has been highlighted in the UK wide Clinical Radiology Workforce Census reports, produced by Royal College of Radiologists (RCR). The report for Wales found that 13.1 percent of radiology posts were vacant during 2016.
The Academy is a flagship, purpose-built facility that delivers radiology training in a dedicated environment. Consultant Radiologists from across South Wales deliver teaching through a combination of lectures, seminars and reporting supervision. The Academy is equipped with 55 Fujifilm PACS workstations operating the latest SYNAPSE® 5 technology, allowing trainees to learn on the diagnostic imaging and reporting systems installed across Wales.
Fujifilm has delivered the national PACS contract for Wales since 2012, which means all Academy users will have familiarity with the systems used across NHS Wales. The Academy also benefits from Fujifilm’s Clinical Workflow Manager (CWM) for radiology workflow and sophisticated iCode teaching folders software to anonymise and catalogue images.
The Fujifilm PACS network also facilitates access to images from every Health Board in Wales, accessed from the Academy workstations. This provides supervised training opportunities to expedite the students’ competency at diagnostic imaging interpretation.
Dr Phillip Wardle, Director of National Imaging Academy Wales, said,
The Imaging Academy development provides a fantastic opportunity. Not only will we increase the numbers of trained Radiologists, but we will also train and develop the diagnostic imaging workforce for the future to provide the best service possible for our patients. We aim for this to be a hub for research, innovation and collaboration. We have achieved much with the facility so far and we will continue to work with Fujifilm to maximise the Imaging Academy’s potential.