Northampton General Hospital recruiting Consultant Radiologists and Radiographers to support growing demand for radiology services

Northampton General Hospital (NGH) is looking to recruit 4 Consultant Radiologists, a Band 5 Radiographer and a part-time Advanced Practitioner Radiographer to join their radiology team providing a high quality diagnostic imaging service 24/7 to the Trust.

The latest clinical radiology workforce census by the Royal College of Radiologists[i] highlights that the current shortfall of 1,104 radiologists is forecast to rise to 1,867 by 2023. This is at a time when demand for complex imaging scans, such as CT and MRI, has increased by 10% over the past five years.

Northampton General Hospital is highlighting the varied opportunities for consultant radiologists and radiographers to able to work with patients across a wide range of conditions, as well as the excellent facilities and training programmes on offer. Roles include:

  • Consultant Radiologists – with sub-specialisation in any area of imaging – especially Head and Neck, Musculoskeletal, Paediatric, Breast, Interventional Radiology etc.
  • Advanced Practitioner Radiographer – this part-time role is for an Advanced Practitioner Mammographer to join the Breast Imaging Team. Prospective candidates should hold a post graduate qualification in Breast Image Interpretation treatment.
  • Band 5 Radiographer – this is a new role which will involve being supported through a comprehensive training program and offered an excellent rotation through plain film, theatre and CT

Northampton General Hospital provides acute care services for 380,000 people and has recently invested in new facilities, including an emergency centre and a new chemotherapy suite. The radiology team has access to state of the art digital equipment and a GE PACS system, plus the hospital will complete installation of brand new digital mammography units in the near future.

One consultant radiologist who chose to work at Northampton General Hospital after his training is Dr Davis Thomas. Having completed his Radiology training in the UK and then sub-specialising in Interventional Radiology in Australia and the UK, Dr Thomas could have chosen to work anywhere in the world but decided to take up a post at Northampton General Hospital as a Consultant Radiologist with a specialist interest in Vascular and Interventional Radiology.

As he explains, “The role at Northampton General Hospital offered me the variety to do both interventional as well as diagnostic radiology. Being able to do highly specialised work in the areas that interested me as well as general radiology really appealed to me. Other considerations included the availability of jobs for my spouse, good schools for my children and Northampton’s proximity to other major UK cities, such as London and Birmingham, which are only an hour away.”

Davis has enjoyed great career progression at the hospital. In 2017 he was asked to become the Clinical Director in Imaging and in 2018 he also took on responsibility for Pathology. He now oversees a large team of Consultants in Radiology and Pathology as well as other medical and non-medical staff as part of his role.

He finds his job immensely rewarding. He says, “Interventional radiology helps people with various issues. I can see on an x-ray or scan what the problem is and treat these patients with minimally invasive treatment, such as putting a balloon or a stent into a blocked vessel to restore blood flow. I can also block a blood vessel that is a cause for bleeding. I can also help relieve blocked kidneys, drain collections and perform biopsies. For the patient, there are very few side effects and they don’t need to be in hospital very long. Being able to treat people and see them improve quickly is one of the joys of working as a radiologist”.

“I also get an investigative thrill of being able to diagnose someone. From a diagnostic point of view, I’m a bit like a detective. I can look at a scan and can usually identify what is going on with a patient. This helps colleagues in other specialities such as medicine or surgery who can then treat these patients appropriately.”

Davis highly recommends Northampton General Hospital as a great place to work and says it’s ideal for radiologists who want to specialise in specific areas but also have a variety in their workload. He says, “Northampton General is a centre for cancer, vascular, stroke and kidney diseases. We are also doing a lot of cardiac work. This means there is a lot of work coming through our department for a wide variety of conditions.”

“For radiologists this is a huge benefit of working here as they don’t have to just focus on one area of the body. The work here is challenging, variable and enables radiologists to find out what interests them and specialise in that area. We are also a really friendly team and give each other a lot of respect and support.”

Davis says the hospital offers excellent training opportunities with funded study leave and encouragement of staff to progress as far as they can in their career. There are a wide variety of courses in-house for doctors, including management and leadership courses and staff can take 10 days of study leave a year. The hospital offers help with CESR for overseas doctors.

For radiographers, there is a lot of skill-mix with radiographers now doing more specialised work, performing procedures and reporting imaging. There are Advanced Practitioners in breast imaging and reporting radiographers in the main department. There are several sonographers performing independent scanning and reporting. NGH also offers training support for radiographers who wish to advance their skills to reporting.

Davis also highlights the good facilities at Northampton General such as the large library, onsite fully equipped gym and pool, and on site crèche, as being attractive for new recruits too, as well as Northampton itself.

He adds, “Northampton is a great place to live being so central in the UK and offering easy access to most places. The town is vibrant and there is pretty countryside close by. The commute is good too, unlike larger cities as traffic is fairly light. The transport links are great; you could have breakfast in Northampton and be in Paris in time for lunch!”

Northampton General Hospital is one of the key partners in the ‘Best of Both Worlds’ recruitment campaign. It is the first campaign of its kind to bring together several NHS providers to address the national shortage of doctors and nurses by highlighting the many benefits of relocating to Northamptonshire, including the varied career opportunities and better quality of life.

The campaign unites the University of Northampton, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Northampton General Hospital, Kettering General Hospital (KGH), St Andrew’s Healthcare and Northants GP.

[i] https://www.rcr.ac.uk/sites/default/files/key-findings-clinical-radiology-uk-workforce-census-report-2018.pdf