The East Midlands Radiology Consortium (EMRAD) aims to deliver timely and expert radiology services to patients across the East Midlands, regardless of where they are being treated.
EMRAD is a partnership of seven NHS trusts (Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (host organisation), Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, and University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust). These trusts run 11 hospitals, covering more than five million patients.
EMRAD is a collaboration of all radiology team personnel across the East Midlands. It is supported by a small, core team based at the National Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine at Loughborough University, an Olympics 2012 legacy building. EMRAD pays a nominal rent for the premises, providing a neutral space for working between partner organisations.
EMRAD launched in 2013 with the objective to create a new, common digital radiology system. Its work was supported with the award of ‘vanguard’ status by NHS England’s new care models programme which ran from 2016 to 2018. This pioneering work saw the East Midlands become the first health community in the UK where NHS hospitals could quickly and easily share diagnostic images such as x-rays and scans. The cloud-based image-sharing system has set the national benchmark for a new model of clinical collaboration within radiology services in the NHS.
Following the end of national vanguard funding in 2018, the consortium is now supported by small contributions from partner NHS organisations, and having achieved its initial aims, EMRAD is progressing a second phase of activities. These include finding new ways of working to solve staffing and recruitment issues in radiology, procuring radiology services in more cost-effective ways for the NHS, and harnessing the power of artificial intelligence in diagnostics. These advances are aimed at improving the quality and safety of patient services, as well as helping ensure the long-term sustainability of radiology services.
Much has been achieved in the six years to date but there is still much more to do in order to achieve the EMRAD vision.
EMRAD’s vision is:
‘To consistently achieve the highest standards of clinical care wherever patients access our services. We appreciate our patients’ time and wellbeing by offering prompt and local access to our services, delivering short reporting times on images and making best use of NHS funding and resources. We will (with others) create a skilled and happy workforce and workplaces that are valued by patients and staff alike.’
EMRAD’s core purpose is:
‘We are a consortium of hospital radiology departments serving the majority of the population in the East Midlands. Together, we specialise in diagnosing and treating disease and injury through the use of medical images. We use the widest range of imaging techniques from simple x-rays to the most complex imaging procedures, utilising the most up-to-date technologies.’