A guide for IR(ME)R Referrers to HCA UK

Advice to individuals who refer patients to HCA UK for procedures using ionising radiation.

Medical referrers (with GMC registration)

Confirmation of entitlement to refer patients for procedures using ionising radiation under HCA Healthcare UK for Medical Referrers (with GMC registration)

As a medically qualified doctor with GMC registration, HCA UK will entitle you to act as a Referrer as defined in the Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations (IR(ME)R). This enables you to refer patients to HCA UK for medical exposures using ionising radiation, for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.

HCA has processes in place to ensure the safe and efficient processing and management of referrals for ionising radiation. When referring it is important you understand:

  • You have a legal obligation to provide all necessary clinical information relating to the patient and the procedure requested. This must include previous diagnostic examinations and / or medical records relevant to the medical exposure requested
  • Your referral must correctly identify the individual for whom the request is intended (this must include at least 3 patient identifiers)
  • Referral forms are legal documents and must be completed accordingly this includes a signature uniquely identifying you as the referrer and a contact number for any queries
  • You are responsible for checking the details in the form are correct before submission
  • You are responsible for checking ast menstrual period data of all individuals of childbearing age (12-55 years) before referring for an X-ray of the abdominal, pelvic or upper femoral regions, or for any nuclear medicine or therapeutic exposures. This is particularly important for patients who will require anaesthetic
  • If the IR(ME)R Practitioner does not consider the requested medical exposure justified, they will not legally be able to proceed and this decision will be communicated to you
  • Referrals for exposure should be made in line with documented referral criteria this is provided via online access to iRefer making the best use of clinical radiology”, published by the Royal College of Radiologists (see detailed below).

Non-Medical referrers (without GMC registration)

HCA UK accepts referrals from registered healthcare professionals who are not medically qualified so long as they meet additional training and competency requirements.

If you would like to be approved as a non-medical referrer you must first be approved by the facility to wish to refer into. Please contact your local imaging department to initiate the approval process.

Access to iRefer

iRefer is a tool providing referral guidelines to help referrers request the best, safest and most valuable imaging investigations in order to facilitate rapid authorisation and justification. Access to iRefer and more information on referral processes is available to all IR(ME)R Referrers.

If you would like access please contact the imaging manager at the HCA UK facility into which you intend to refer.