2022 - 2023, Happy New Year

Good evening all,

Another year has passed us by - apologies this traditional annual note is now too late to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, but it felt like we were all working to the end!

Looking back into 2022 within the traditional Radiology sphere, procurements, supplier swaps, upgrades and additions have all been catching up at pace from the lull / forced postponements of the past few years. 2022 also brought expansions in informatics reaching well beyond the traditional Radiology department boundaries - there were finally huge ‘leaps’ for many regions into Digital Pathology and reorganisations around the unification of storage for Clinical Photography etc. into PACS. Home reporting remained high on the bill, with it being clear PACS will now extend into our homes permanently, this easier access also benefitting regular on-call services and registrar assistance in many areas.

A few years in now, and for those who ‘cast-off’ into the cloud it continues to be a blessing and a curse depending on whose opinions you seek.

‘AI’ continued to be a top buzz-word (and seemingly a research cash draw!), with the promised utopia remaining ‘imminently on the horizon’ according to the articles published on the topic in the past 12 months.

Staffing wise, a ‘perfect storm’ of (previously delayed) retirements, poaching, burn-out and other minor factors has resulted in the highest ever year for PACS Manager / Band 8 vacancies since 2005/2006. This has resulted in many vacancies being strategically up-banded to 8a/8b, the effects of which will become apparent in the 2023 workforce review. Traditional PACS Project Managers are unbelievably rare now, with several Trusts offering six figures to try and seduce the few available onto their teams.

On a national note, with the return of the face-to-face non-profit training the team have had a very busy year catching up with the queues and this year trained a total of 1,656 individuals in (vendor neutral) Intermediate and Advanced HL7 + DICOM, the Foundamentals of Radiology I.T. and various other smaller sessions in XDS, GDPR for PACS Teams and IHE Basics. Hundreds of PACS Managers and others sat the assessments and provided very valuable feedback in developing the courses directions for the future.

This year also saw anniversaries - the 100th non-profit group training session was delivered in Manchester, and at the same time, the 5,000th all time attendee. These milestones were achieved thanks to the tireless efforts of our fellow volunteers and trainers on this forum. We are all grateful that Trusts and private institutions are teaming up as regions to organise the delivery of the training which helps no end with the administration of the sessions.

As always, from the forum, thank you to everyone for the interesting discussions and engaging in the progression of the informatics community over the year. The volunteer moderators, Rhidian and myself wish everyone a very Happy New Year.

Take care and have a peaceful start to 2023,