Radiation Physics in Medical Physics
Radiation Physics provides a comprehensive radiation protection and radiation physics service to the hospitals and other users of radiation in Tayside and North Fife regions.
The recent increase in legislation concerning radiation protection in the hospital environment, intended to benefit both staff and patients, has emphasised the importance of work in this area. Members of the scientific staff act as Radiation Protection Advisers for the use of x-rays and Radioisotopes (sealed and unsealed) both diagnostically and therapeutically.
We provide radiation protection services as required by the Ionising Radiation Regulations 1985 and 1988, the Radioactive Substances Act 1990 and the MARS regulations (1978).
The service includes:
- personnel dosimetry service for staff employed in all hospitals in the region
- coordination of Quality Assurance programmes in diagnostic X-ray throughout Tayside
- radionuclide Quality Assurance programme and X-ray Quality Assurance for external clients
- measurement and assessment of radiation doses to patients undergoing investigations requiring the use of ionising radiation
- hazard assessments and advice to Emergency planning personnel
- advice on the purchase of radiological equipment
- acceptance of radiological equipment purchased by hospitals throughout the region
In the case of diagnostic X-rays, the work of the section covers the 18 departments distributed throughout the region and is primarily concerned with the implementation of an Area-wide Radiological Quality Assurance programme, the acceptance and testing of new equipment and the design and implementation of techniques for monitoring patient doses received during X-ray exposures.
Advice is also provided on the design and construction of X-ray rooms, dose reduction strategies and on various protection problems as they arise. On the radioisotope front, the section is responsible for the regulation of the administration of radioisotopes to patients under the ARSAC scheme and the provision of a radiation protection service to NHS and University departments. It also organises and supervises the disposal of radioactive waste from all hospitals in Tayside.
Another aspect of the work of the section is in emergency planning. This involves participation in the first stage of the NAIR scheme which provides first-line advice to the Police and other emergency services on incidents involving radiation.
Research and development fall into three general areas:
- Radiation Protection
- investigation of effects of dose reduction techniques on the radiation dose to patients undergoing radiological examinations
- investigation of novel methods of dosimetry
- investigation of performance measures of radiological imaging systems
- development of computer-assisted learning techniques for teaching radiation protection
- investigation of the performance characteristics of the scanning laser ophthalmoscope
- quantitation of Fluorescein and Indo Cyanine Green (ICG) dynamics during digital angiographic ophthalmoscopy of patients with Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) and Diabetic Retinopathy
- Data classification
- the use of statistical analysis techniques to derive automated diagnostic aids for Nuclear Medicine data sets