The HSE regulates patient radiation protection practices in radiological facilities, both private and public and receives advice from the National Radiation Safety Committee on the safety of these practices. The Medical Exposure Radiation Unit, HSE, was established to fulfil the regulatory functions assigned to the CEO, HSE in SI 478/SI 303. The unit is also the executive and advisory unit for the National Radiation Safety Committee.
The HSE regulates to protect patients from the harmful effects of exposure to ionising radiation whereas the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII) regulates to protect workers and members of the public from the harmful effects of exposure to all ionising radiation. There are a number of areas where regulations overlap as many safety measures taken to protect patients are also of benefit to workers and public, and vice versa.
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Regulatory Role of the Medical Exposure Radiation Unit:
- Conduct/oversee clinical audit in radiation facilities.
- Manage the statutory incident reporting system.
- Develop and provide guidance and direction to holders, practitioners, other staff and statutory bodies on relevant matters as guided by the National Radiation Safety Committee.
- Ensure quality assurance programmes are in place.
- Maintain a register of installations.
- Support and manage the work of the National Radiation Safety Committee and the subcommittees.
Advisory Role of the National Radiation Safety Committee:
- Provide advice to the CEO, HSE and the Minister and Department of Health and Children on measures that are necessary to protect patients from the harmful effects of ionising radiation.
- Produce an annual report which includes a report on Population Dose from medical exposures to ionising radiation.
- Receive reports of clinical audits, incidents and inspections.
- Gather lifetime data on equipment and an assurance that each piece of equipment is recorded as being maintained.
- Monitor Radiation Diagnostic Reference Levels as established by the Medical and Dental Councils.
- Advise on guidance and direction to holders, practitioners, other staff and statutory bodies on relevant matters.
Risks and Patient Safety in Radiotherapy, 13 February 2010
Medical Exposure Radiation Unit (MERU)
Quality Assurance and Verification Division, Health Service Executive,
Room 4, 3rd Floor, Stewarts Hospital,Palmerstown, Dublin 20, D20N292
01-6201624 or email email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org.