‘First of its kind’ Radiography Academy opens in Rochdale

Categories: School of Health and Society

Rochdale Infirmary is home to the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group’s (NCA) new Radiography Academy, a centre of excellence for research, learning and mentoring in the field of Radiology.

The new academy opened on 4 November 2019, and was unveiled by NCA chief executive Raj Jain, and Bury & Rochdale Care Organisation Chief Officer Steve Taylor.

The NCA’s Diagnostics and Pharmacy Group has worked in partnership with the University of Salford to set up the new centre of excellence.

Students will be able to use the academy for research purposes, advancing their learning and as a base for mentoring colleagues.

The academy will welcome its first cohort of students this academic year providing clinical and medical support to students throughout their MSK and chest reporting advanced reporting courses.

NHS Radiology services play a key role in many patient pathways, both as a diagnostic and interventional tool. Radiology supports patients across the full range of specialities in acute hospitals and makes a significant contribution in providing diagnosis to primary care and community services. 

The Radiography Academy will be led by clinical lead Lawrence Gamble who provides reporting expertise and organises clinical sessions for trainees, with the support of a consultant radiologist mentor.

Lawrence's background is in MSK (musculoskeletal) reporting, and he is looking forward to taking up his role.

Professor Nigel Thomas is the Medical Lead; a retired NHS Consultant Radiologist with extensive mentoring experience. Nigel said: “I was absolutely delighted to be asked to be involved with the advanced practice radiography academy at the Northern Care Alliance. The academy provides the equipment and support that our radiographers need to be successful in their professional development. Providing mentoring and teaching support to the academy is my dream job.” 

Paul Barker, Radiology Strategic Project Director at the NCA stated: “This state-of-the-art facility, the first of its kind in Greater Manchester, will provide a dedicated training environment for students to ensure the support and equipment they require to succeed in their advanced practice qualifications. Ultimately this will create a better service for patients with faster access to diagnostic results. I am delighted that we have Professor Nigel Thomas and Lawrence Gamble, as experts in their field, to lead on this.”

Claire Mercer, Head of Radiography at the University of Salford stated that: “Linking with the Northern Care Alliance in the Radiography Academy is a wonderful opportunity for the students of the region. It will provide dedicated equipment, resources and facilities to allow them to progress within their role. Enabling them to have ‘time out’ within this environment to focus on their training could ultimately lead to better service outcomes. A wonderful environment for professional learning.”

The Radiography Academy is based on site at Rochdale Infirmary, in a fully refurbished space, including five new PACS reporting stations. The first academy year has commenced with a small intake of radiographers from across the NCA, concentrating on MSK and chest ‘plain film’ reporting training at the University of Salford.

Following this, the plan is to expand training across Greater Manchester and to other staff groups including sonographers, trainee medical staff, and other disciplines, including pathology and pharmacy.

For all press office enquiries please email communications@salford.ac.uk or phone 0161 295 2238.