Legislation, regulation and responsibilities
The framework for radiation protection in Ireland is legislative based, incorporating various Irish laws and European Directives, including the following:
Competent authority and regulator for the protection of staff and members of the public
Competent authority and regulator for the protection of patients
The National Radiation Protection Committee: (NRPC) has been established by the HSE to oversee radiation protection practices in public hospitals and community healthcare organisations and to ensure that legal obligations are met. The NRPC provides assurance to the HSE, our patients and members of the public that there is national oversight, support for radiation protection and safe practice in operation across all locations offering a radiological service under the auspices of the HSE.
The National Radiation Protection Office: (NRPO) supports the work of the NRPC and works to promote best practice in radiation protection nationally.
The NRPC and NRPO build on previous work in radiation protection undertaken by the National Radiation Safety Committee (NRSC) and the HSE Medical Exposure Radiation Unit (MERU) which have been stood down. All publications by the NRSC and MERU are available from the NRPO upon request.
Clinical Audit: is an essential component of radiation protection and provides a tool to measure the success of quality improvement initiatives.
Incident Management: Safe practice is the first priority of all staff working with medical ionising radiation and all radiation safety incidents are managed locally in line with the HSE Incident Management Framework. In addition to this framework, radiation exposures involving staff and members of the public are notified to the EPA. And adverse events involving patients which meet the notification threshold are reported to HIQA
iRefer Guidelines: If you refer for a radiological examination, you will know that all clinicians can avail of the UK RCR iRefer Guidelines courtesy of the HSE.
The guidelines are aimed at clinicians, radiologists, radiographers and other healthcare professionals to determine the most appropriate imaging procedures for a wide range of clinical problems and to help clinicians to meet their obligations under the Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations (IRMER). The guidelines methodology has been accredited by NICE Evidence, managed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). This essential reference tool provides you with up-to-date guidance on selecting the most appropriate imaging investigation for a range of clinical problems. iRefer evaluates clinical evidence from diverse sources and reflects current best practice. iRefer is published by The Royal College of Radiologists.
Contact the NRPO:
National Radiation Protection Office
Acute Hospital Operations
Room 4 3rd Floor Stewarts Hospital Palmerstown, Dublin 20 D20N292