Guidelines on the Medical Physics Expert Published

Guidelines on the Medical Physics Expert Published.

You can download it here.

 

MPE staffing levels FAQ

It is not possible for the list to contain every diagnostic or treatment device. If they were not commonly in use when the data on staffing factors was collected and analysed the WTE for these units would not be indicated and must be assessed locally and added on to the WTE calculated from the list.

‘New’ is when the treatment is undergoing clinical trials. Once it is in normal clinical use it becomes ‘established’. This may include a part year effect and then the WTE must be used pro-rata for the duration of the clinical trials. For example, if the clinical trials lasted 6 months then only half the WTE indicated should be used.

For some new PET-CT installations, the local MPE and other staff may need some additional instruction or external assistance to become fully acquainted with the new system. Once the local MPE has no further training needs then the factors for an established installation may be used. This may include a part year effect and then the WTE must be used pro-rata for the duration of the external assistance and training.
Cyclotrons were considered to be relatively uncommon and too complex to include in the list so a decision to exclude them was taken. However, where a member of staff from the MPS is employed in such duties then their allocation of time in this area should be added into the MPS WTE.
No. Additional factors such as these must be added. For example, a centre may have 1600 new patients a year and 100 are treated using SABR. In this example we must add 0.5WTE x 1600/1000 plus 0.4WTE x 100/100 to get the total MPE WTE.
Unit means a single piece of equipment of that particular unit type is presently in use. If there is more than a single unit presently in use then the WTE factors should be multiplied by the number of units present. If not all the units are currently in use then some judgement will need to be made to reduce the unit number used in your calculation of the WTE. For example, all your linear accelerators may be capable of IMRT but you may only use this function with half of them in which case you would half the number of units for IMRT in your calculation of WTE.
The factors used assume routine medical physics (advanced) quality control checks are carried out at least annually. If the frequency of these checks is less frequent then the factors used must be decreased appropriately. Also, in addition, the factors assume appropriate checks are made after any equipment maintenance that can affect patient or staff doses and that responses are made to reasonable service users’ queries. If these responses are not provided by your service then the factors used must be decreased further.
This means the service supports a full-time supernumerary medical physics trainee. If a trainee spends only 3 months in the service during a 12 month period then the WTE must be divided by 4.
The factor for 'Digital radiography detectors' should be used for DR units associated with fixed radiography system, portable radiography systems and fluoroscopy systems. There is a separate factor for CR readers that should be used in the same way.
The factor for "Practical radiation protection support" includes those aspects where the MPE must liaise with the RPE such as RP audits and the review of personnel dosimetry results. This is in addition to the RP input required of the MPE as part of the the equipment related section.
The factor for "Testing protocol development" is for the MPE input into the process for developing x-ray procedures. This is in addition to the optimisation of existing exposure protocols which is covered within the equipment factors.
The factor for "Practical radiation protection support" is a continuous process. The factor for "Testing protocol development" is for new procedures or when there is a need for review of procedures.

These are the tasks included in the equipment related section:

  • QA (on site)
  • QA (analysis and reporting)
  • Optimisation: troubleshooting protocols flagged by users
  • Optimisation: troubleshooting protocols flagged by dose audit
  • Dose audit/ calculation
  • Acceptance/Commissioning of system
  • Acceptance/Commissioning of component e.g. x-ray tube/detector
  • Optimisation: setting up exposure protocols
  • Critical/Radiation Safety Examination
  • Other support / advice