The requesting of imaging examinations such as X-rays does not form part of the standard training for non-medically qualified healthcare professionals. One aspect of the modernisation of the NHS has been the increase of extended roles for non-medical healthcare professionals such as nurses and allied health professionals, including requesting diagnostic procedures such as imaging examinations.

In 1994 the College of Radiographers issued advice on X-ray examination requests by nurse practitioners and stated that x-ray requests from non-medically qualified referrers was acceptable provided the referrer complied with the Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations, was a registered Health Professional and was adequately trained and competent to provide the radiographer with sufficient appropriate clinical data. There also had to be local agreements and protocols in place.

Nurses working in extended roles are now key providers of health care across all settings. They deliver the right skills, at the right place and at the right time to provide optimal patient centred care.

Clinical imaging departments have reported an increase in diagnostic imaging requests from non-medically qualified referrers and this has been recognised as a key factor in improving the patient care pathway.

The following will specifically address the functions of non-medically qualified refers responsible for the coordination of diagnostic tests for patients with upper or lower GI symptoms.



This protocol will enable the staff in the X-ray department of Ashford and St Peters NHS Foundation Trust to comply with the Ionising Radiation (medical Exposure) regulations whilst facilitating named registered Nurse Endoscopist referrers to write requests for specified imaging examinations for the Gastrointestinal and Colorectal teams.


Policy Details

Download: PDF version
Compiled by: Anna Burrows, Andrew Moth, Annette Puzey
Ratified by: Quality Governance Committee
Date Ratified: June 2017
Date Issued: July 2017
Review Date: June 2020
Target Audience: All Nurse Endoscopists, Radiology staff, Radiology administration staff, and all endoscopy nursing and administrative staff.
Contact name: Annette Puzey, Andrew Moth


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