Radiation Safety Of Patients
The regulations governing the safety of patients undergoing medical or dental radiographic procedures are set out in S.I. 478 of 2002. This legislation is based on the European Medical Exposures Directive. The Medical & Dental Councils, along with the Department of Health & Children and the HSE, have a central role in enforcing these regulations. The National Radiation Safety Committee (NRSC) was established in 2007 on the recommendation of a Task Force on S.I. 478 which was set up by the HSE. The Medical Exposures Radiation Unit (MERU) was also established as the executive and advisory unit of the NRSC. Further to a Revised European Basic Safety Standard (2013), Irish Radiation Safety Legislation is due to undergo a major revision in early 2018. As part of this, it is proposed that Statutory Authority for Patient Radiation Safety will move from the MERU to HIQA.
Practical information on compliance has been included on the MERU website, including guidelines on Clinical Incident Reporting and Clinical Audit. There is also information on the composition and roles of the NRSC, etc. to the following; Information on the MERU can be found on the website, including guidelines on responsibilities of holders under S.I.478 of 2002 in 2010.
Medical Council guidelines relating to medical exposures are listed on the MERU website here. Dental Council documents can be found here.
Some of the key issues raised in the S.I. which are relevant to dental and GP practices are considered as follows;.