Direct entry ultrasound: changing the face of ultrasound training

Waring, Lorelei, Bolton, Gareth and Smart, Shelley (2015) Direct entry ultrasound: changing the face of ultrasound training. In: British Medical Ultrasound Society 47th Annual Scientific Meeting, 9-11 December 2015, Cardiff, Wales. (Unpublished)

[thumbnail of UoC BMUS Poster 2015.pdf]
PDF - Published Version
Available under License CC BY-NC

Download (411kB) | Preview
Official URL:


Background: There is a well-documented crisis within the ultrasound workforce in the UK due to a shortage of qualified sonographers in addition to increased workloads because of expanding services and working hours (Lovegrove and Price, 2002). This is leading to increasing difficulties for many NHS Trusts in meeting the demands on Ultrasound Departments (SCoR, 2009). There have been many consultations over the last 10 – 15 years on this issue, and it is clear that there is no quick fix for this problem. However failure to address this current crisis will mean a number of risks will continue to exist and further manifest themselves. Several additional educational pathways for Sonographic Education have been proposed (SCoR, 2009) offering both long term and short term solutions to the issue and the University of Cumbria through close consultation with their local stakeholders have spent the last 12 months developing a full time Direct Access MSc in Medical Ultrasound Programme to run in conjunction with the traditional part time route open to current healthcare practitioners.

Methods: Following a sonography workforce meeting held in Manchester in November 2014 in which HENW highlighted the local issues with sonographer shortages, the University of Cumbria arranged a stakeholder meetings aimed at discussing the development of an additional training route that would welcome applications from non-healthcare based applicants. Following this meeting it was decided that the University would look to develop a full time direct access MSc in medical ultrasound. Throughout the development process continued close consultation with the local stakeholders was maintained. In spring 2015 HENW commissioned a report which investigated the findings arising from in-depth interviews with twenty Ultrasound department leads throughout the North West of England including participants from both the NHS and independent sectors from Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria. The issues under investigation included current staffing status, preferred model of education and HCPC issues.

Results: The stakeholder consultations and commissioned report highlighted the regions desire for action on this issue and reassured the faculty team that the programme would be welcomed and well supported within the region. It also helped to secure some funding for the course. The investment of time into discussing and researching the views of the local stakeholders is vital to ensure the programme and resultant sonographers are fit for purpose. It is hoped that this new and innovative course will over time help to support the current ultrasound education provision and help to ease the current crisis.

Conclusions: The national shortage in the Sonography workforce has led to development of the Direct Entry MSc by the University of Cumbria. The process has involved close liaison between the University of Cumbria and their stakeholder in order to ensure the needs of the local area are met by the programme.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Departments: Academic Departments > Medical & Sport Sciences (MSS) > Health and Medical Sciences
Depositing User: Lorelei Waring
Date Deposited: 22 May 2017 09:15
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2021 10:17


Downloads per month over past year

Downloads each year

Edit Item