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Clinical imaging guidelines

Clinical Imaging Requests from Non-medically Qualified Professionals is guidance for radiographers aimed at ensuring that the message to all health professionals involved in clinical imaging referrals is clear and consistent.

This relates to standards C1, C3, and D10 of the Osteopathic Practice Standards.

For the osteopathic profession, this guidance offers a tool for negotiating access to local clinical imaging services. Many osteopaths have experienced difficulties when requesting clinical imaging tests and obtaining results from radiology departments, whether NHS or private, is often an unnecessarily lengthy procedure.

These guidelines help to illustrate that, as primary contact practitioners, osteopaths are equipped with the knowledge and skills to make an informed clinical evaluation of a patient and to justify further diagnostic investigation. Requesting clinical imaging tests is within the osteopathic scope of practice – osteopaths receive sufficient training in this area at an undergraduate level, enabling them to make informed decisions about the need to refer patients for clinical imaging tests and giving them the skills to interpret results. Some osteopaths also go on to undertake postgraduate training in this field. It is, however, the professional responsibility of all osteopaths to ensure that their knowledge and skills remain up-to-date.

The development of this guidance was a joint project, led by the Royal College of Nursing, and, as well as the GOsC, involved the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, the General Chiropractic Council, NHS Alliance, Health Protection Agency and the Society and College of Radiographers. For further information about the background to the guidelines click here.