Volume 8 Supplement 1

Symposium Mammographicum 2006

Open Access

Workforce issues in breast imaging: radiographers as screen readers

  • RL Bennett1,
  • RG Blanks1 and
  • SM Moss1
Breast Cancer Research20068(Suppl 1):P31


Published: 10 July 2006

The expansion of the National Health Service Breast Screening Programme (NHSBSP) has increased workload, adding to existing pressure on resources due to a shortage of radiologists. As a result some units have introduced double reading by two radiographers, with arbitration by a radiologist or breast clinician. Although some experimental work has supported such a move, the Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer Screening has requested further evidence from a real-life setting to support this change in reading practice.

An observational study was initiated in 2004. A questionnaire was developed to document annually the reading practices of all screening units, and number of years of experience of individual film readers. Information gathered from the questionnaires, together with routine data from the KC62s, will allow us to compare the performance of units using radiographer-only double reading with that of other units. We will also be able to compare the performance before and after the change in reading protocol for units moving to radiographer-only double reading. The main outcome measures of performance will be cancer detection rates, standardised detection ratios and recall rates.

Authors’ Affiliations

Cancer Screening Evaluation Unit, Institute of Cancer Research


© BioMed Central 2006