Department of Health launches public consultation on medical imaging

Date published: 26 October 2017


The Department of Health has today launched a public consultation on a draft Strategic Framework designed to modernise medical imaging services, provided by Health and Social Care.

Strategic Framework Image

There has been significant growth in the scope, complexity and application of medical imaging over the last 30 years. Timely and accurate imaging plays a vital role in ensuring patients are appropriately diagnosed, treated and monitored.  In the four main services of MRI, CT, non-obstetric ultrasound and X-rays there were over 1.5million examinations commissioned in 2016/17. Based on current performance this is expected to rise to around 1.8million in 2017/18.

A number of important recommendations have been made in the draft Strategic Framework including, investment in training, workforce planning, timely referral pathways, and, information technology systems designed to provide high quality information. The recommendations are aimed at ensuring imaging services remain safe, effective and sustainable in the long term.

The recommendations set a challenging agenda if we want every patient to access the same high quality of imaging regardless of where they live in Northern Ireland. 

Proposals for modernising imaging services comes at a time of considerable reform in health and social  and the Health and Social Care transformation agenda, “Health and Wellbeing 2026: Delivering Together”, places a high priority on developing a new approach to the planning and delivery of imaging services.

Everyone with an interest in imaging services is encouraged to have their say and help to influence the way services are planned and delivered in the future.

The Draft Strategic Framework consultation can be accessed on the Department’s website.

The eight-week consultation will run until Friday 22nd December 2017.

There will also be an opportunity to contribute to the consultation at an event being held on Thursday 7 December at Lough Neagh Discovery Centre, starting at 9.30am.

For further details about the draft consultation and the event being held on 7 December please contact:

Helena Brown
Department of Health
Secondary Care Directorate
Policy and Legislation Branch
Room 7, Annex 1
Castle Buildings

Telephone: 02890 522301


Notes to editors: 

1. The draft strategic framework aims to further modernise the HSC’s imaging services over the next 10 years to ensure that Northern Ireland continues to deliver high quality healthcare services and stays at the forefront of technological advances in imaging. The pace of implementation will be determined by the availability of finance to implement the commitments and actions set out in the plan.

2. There are 19 recommendations all of which have been developed by professional medical staff providing imaging services across the HSC. These staff are representative of the highly trained medical, nursing and allied health professional workforce in the HSC who are dedicated to providing these essential services for the local population.

3. For media queries please contact the Department of Health Press Office 028 9052 0575 or email For out of hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager 07623 974383 and your call will be returned. Follow us on twitter @healthdpt

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