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Veterinary Services

Veterinary practices are required to appoint a Radiation Protection Adviser (RPA) when using any source of ionizing radiation (e.g. x-rays).
However, if there are any radioactive isotopes used at a practice – e.g. Technetium-99m for bone scanning Scintigraphy of horses or Iodine-131 for the treatment of Hyperthyroidism in cats – then a Radioactive Waste Adviser (RWA) must also be appointed. SG&A staff can act in both these capacities.

With SG&A, all veterinary practices with x-ray equipment have a site visit by one of the RPA team:

Annually for the first two years and thereafter biennially to

  • Assess and audit radiation protection documentation.
  • Carry out a full assessment of the x-ray unit/s and surgery/imaging rooms.

  • Undertake appropriate shielding checks / dose rate surveys.

  • Record and advise on diagnostic reference levels.

  • Provide a comprehensive report with advice and recommendations for enhancing your regulatory compliance.

In an interim year, an audit questionnaire is sent to the practice for completion. Once returned the audit is assessed by an RPA to provide an interim report.

Our service is a working consistent partnership with our clients. We help you by

  • Inspecting the plans for you when you are planning a new room or practice.

  • Being available for questions throughout the build and development.

  • Completing the Critical examination and Acceptance Testing following the installation.

  • Providing annual radiation protection advice as above.

  • Providing a bespoke Radiation Protection File on request.

  • Availability to talk to an RPA throughout your term of appointment for any queries, issues and emergencies with 24 hour on-call emergency availability.

  • Training – relevant RPS courses for the whole veterinary team.

  • Dosimetry advice (and we can offer the provision of Mirion dosimeters).

*Please note: Legislative requirements dictate that practices with CT and/or handheld equipment may need to be assessed on an annual basis.

With SG&A, all veterinary practices using Scintigraphy and Iodine Therapy have a site visit by one of the RPA team:

Annually and benefit from not only experienced RPAs, but also Radioactive Waste Advisers (RWA) who are able to provide advice on

  • Permit application, variation and ultimately surrender documentation.
  • Production of environmental impact assessments and Best Available Techniques (BAT) assessments.
  • Other relevant documentary and practical compliance measures.
  • Liaise with the Environmental Agency Inspectors on your behalf if required.

Advice will be given under the provisions of the Ionising Regulations 2017 (IRR17) and the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2018 (ERP18). It will also cover requirements and good practice contained in other relevant legislation and professional body guidance and recommendations.

Radiation Protection File

This needs to be a bespoke document for your specific practice. We can provide this for you on request. The Radiation Protection Files include;

  • Instructions how to keep this information up to date
  • Radiation risk assessments
  • Local rules and Employers Procedures with room specific local rules and plan drawings
  • Quality assurance programs
  • Training section
  • Equipment information and inventory

Training

SG&A are able to provide both RPS and CPD training for the whole veterinary team, whether using x-rays or isotopes.  Currently these are delivered through an interactive Teams online course. We hope in the future to be able to deliver our courses face to face again, either at our training facilities in Norfolk, or at practice sites or other outside venues. 

Dosimetry

Personal doses to staff are required to be measured to confirm all appropriate radiation protection measures are, and remain, in place at a practice. The simplest way of achieving the necessary evidence is by the provision of personal dose meters to relevant veterinary team members for limited periods. Once confirmed this dosimetry can (if the employer decides) be discontinued and then re-instituted following changes at the practice (e.g. the addition of further x-ray facilities) or for the reassurance to pregnant members of staff.

Inspection of Plans

Planning to expand or set up a new practice? Under IRR17 Schedule 4: Regulation 14 (1) (2), an RPA must be consulted to undertake a prior examination of plans. Following inspection of the plans SG&A produce a report to provide recommendations to keep doses As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP) to staff, the patient and the public, while ensuring compliance with legislation, appropriate shielding and the ability to follow good working practices in the room.

Critical Examination and Acceptance Tests (CEAT)

This is required when a unit is first installed, or moved, or if a major component part is replaced e.g. tube head or timer. It is the installers responsibility to ensure that the critical examination part is completed. It is the employers (the practice owners) responsibility to ensure that the acceptance testing is completed. In practice these are usually completed at the same time and can be done either by the installers or the practices RPA / MPE.

If you require any advice concerning any of the above, please either complete our contact page or call the office on 01362 822066

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