What Regulations Are There In Relation To X-ray Equipment?
In accordance with regulations 17.1 and 17.2(a) of S.I. 478 of 2002, a named medical physicist shall be assigned to the installation to conduct periodic examinations of the equipment, and any recommended adjustments to the equipment shall be made. The practitioner shall also consult the medical physicist on image quality, patient dose, quality assurance, etc.
In practice, the assigned medical physicist is likely to be the same person who acts as RPA for the purposes of RPII licensing. Frequency of testing etc. is also likely to be similar to that specified by the RPII under licence conditions.
A written inventory of the equipment must be maintained in accordance with regulations 17.3 & 17.4. This must specify the installation date, dates of installation of new components, and inspection dates. It must also include a projected replacement date for the equipment. Continued use of the equipment after the replacement date is subject to a satisfactory inspection by the medical physicist, and the approval of the Radiation Safety Committee (to be established by the HSE).
Acceptance testing of equipment must be carried out by the medical physicist before its first use. In practice, the commissioning tests performed by the RPA as part of the licensing process are likely to suffice (regulation 17.8).
Performance tests shall also be carried out on a regular basis and after any major maintenance (regulation 17.9), and an appropriate quality assurance programme must be implemented (regulation 17). Again, in practice, the routine testing required under the RPII licence conditions are likely to suffice. Major maintenance is assumed to include any maintenance which is likely to affect patient dose (e.g. tube replacement, output re-calibration). The equipment must comply with criteria of acceptability (regulation 17.10). The National Radiation Safety Committee have also proposed dental criteria of acceptability in their Report on The Role of the MPE in Dentistry.
Working instructions and written protocols and quality assurance programmes must be implemented for each installation (regulation 21). The radiation safety procedures required under RPII licence conditions are likely to suffice.