OPPORTUNITIES for radiography assistants at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital have been highlighted as outstanding by the Care Quality Commission.

Radiography Department Assistants (RDAs) at the hospital have the opportunity to progress their careers to fully qualified Radiographers with the trainee assistant practitioner programme.

The programme received particular praise by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), in their report published after their latest inspection of the Oswestry-based hospital.

Victoria Higgins is the latest trainee assistant practitioner in the department and started this two year role back in September 2018.

Victoria said: “I’ve been part of the radiography team since 2001 - I started the department in an admin role and then progressed onto becoming an RDA in 2008, before landing my current position.

“Being a trainee assistant practitioner is an extremely hands on job and I have the opportunity to learn from the Radiographers – they oversee every patient I take x-rays of to ensure the best possible quality.

“I’ve also had the opportunity to work in theatres at RJAH, and also the Minor Injuries Unit in Oswestry, which has given me real variety.”

As part of her role, Victoria also attends Birmingham City University (BCU) once a week where she completes a Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care specialising in Diagnostic Radiography.

She added: “So far in the first year, we’ve covered topics such as anatomy and physiology, diagnostic radiography and physics for radiography practitioners.

“Once I’ve completed this programme, I’m planning to go on to complete my degree in Radiography to become a fully-qualified Radiographer.”

Mark Brandreth, chief executive, said: “I always say we have the best staff in the NHS and to see one of our departments supporting and nurturing members of the team to further their career is fantastic.

“I’m delighted the CQC have highlighted this piece of work as outstanding practice and I wish Victoria the best in the rest of her studies.”