I WORK as a Radiographer at Musgrove Park Hospital and have worked in the NHS for 23 years.

The recent publicity promoting Rutherford Diagnostic Centre I find misleading and undermining to those Radiographers working in the NHS, particularly those working in plain film imaging whose value is being undermined by an increasing focus on cross-sectional imaging.

Rutherfords is a privately funded organisation using NHS staff, arguably to the detriment of local NHS care. In the last 15 years there has been no investment in plain film imaging, ie x-rays when you visit A&E, at all. We have only 2 x-ray rooms, and we have effectively lost 2 x-ray facilities in the past 10 years due to room closures and the expansion of other imaging facilities. This loss and lack of investment has been detrimental to patient care.

And yet, there has been a deal with a private company to provide imaging services to patients!

What happened to Government investment in health care? Since when did the NHS sign up to bankrolling private companies? Do patients visiting this facility know it was privately funded?

The facility is also staffed by NHS staff, which was not part of the original plan, and the whole facility now uses staff from Musgrove Park Hospital to staff the facility, which leaves the Musgrove X-ray department short -staffed.

I don’t know who is responsible for this project but the Government should be responsible for providing adequate x-ray facilities for the local community, not funding private providers to do this by stealth and to the detriment of NHS radiographers and their well-being.

Simon Copp