Clinical Radiology

Publications and guidance

Responsibility for Medical Management in Radiology

Ref No: BFCR(98)3

The Clinical Radiologist has a responsibility for the care of the patient which requires that reasonable precautions are taken to ensure that possible adverse events can be identified and managed to an appropriately high standard. This responsibility will vary according to the form of referral.

For a patient referred as an out-patient for a consultation of treatment, the Clinical Radiologist is responsible for the care of the patient from the time of referral until care is reassumed by the referring medical practitioner. The referring medical practitioner remains responsible for the overall management of the patient as per the GMC guidelines.

For a patient admitted to hospital for treatment, a medical practitioner with the appropriate skills and facilities available must have overall responsibility for the care of that patient. The Clinical Radiologist may shoulder that responsibility if the skills training and infrastructure available to him/her are sufficient to ensure that care, until (normally upon discharge) care is reassumed by the referring medical practitioner.

Summary: Clinical Radiologists may have principal medical responsibility for patients referred to them, on the same basis as any other registered medical practitioner. The logistics for discharging this responsibility will depend upon local circumstances.

Review Date: This document will be reviewed by the Board of Faculty in 2002

Approved by the Board of the 
Faculty of Clinical Radiology:	8 May 1998

Approved by Council:		29 May 1998



16 June 1998


Dear Colleague

Re: Responsibility for Medical Management in Radiology

The following statement has been prepared by the Faculty Board of Clinical Radiology and the Council of the Royal College of Radiologists, in order to inform Clinical Radiologists of the position the Royal College adopts when Radiologists wish to take the primary responsibility for medical management of their patient.

The statement will assist Interventional Radiologists with access to resources that enable them to act as the main or sole specialist responsible for the particular patient episode.

Yours sincerely

Prof Jamie Weir
Faculty of Clinical Radiology

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