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Complete 4 pages APA formatted article: The NHS Improvement Plan 2004. imaging tests who do not have an appointment within 20 weeks will be offered the choice of having their

scan at another provider within a maximum of 20 weeks. This brings new challenges to the NHS, for it

covers all diagnostic imaging tests apart from CT and MRI, and other clinical specialities like

echocardiography, ultrasound scanning performed in urology/urodynamics and GI physiology, and vascular

scanning performed in vascular technology departments. This obviously brings the independent providers

into the scene.

It is true that whenever choice is introduced, local services tend to improve. Firstly, the

threat of competition leads local services to improve their standards. Second, choice leads to

the creation of new provision which benefits local people. This will certainly ring true for the

imaging services as well. People are to have control over issues like when and where to get a

screening done and thereby ensure the quality and convenience that they want. But the local independent

sector providers are more or less new to the market. As such, strong management and co-ordination of

services by clinicians, radiographers and managers is imperative for ensuring the safety of the patients.

Moreover, there are various concerns about the quality of service provided by the independent sector. In

June 2004, Alliance Medical Ltd. won a contract to supply the NHS with 130000 MRI Scans per annum

for five years. The contract was widely criticised by healthcare unions, including the Society of

Radiographers (SoR) which said that the government should have consulted radiographers and those who

knew the service best.

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