Imaging (Radiology) provides a diagnostic, interventional and therapeutic service to the local population and a specialist service for the region. Imaging is core in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of diseases.
We cover many areas across the hospital, and can also be found in:
Imaging services in the community
We provide imaging services outside of Addenbrooke’s Hospital and this could mean you have a scan at one of our community locations.
Radiation - risks versus benefits
People are often concerned about being exposed to radiation during an x-ray. You have been referred to the imaging department for an x-ray examination / procedure. A specialist in radiology agrees that this is the best examination / procedure to answer the clinical question that has been asked and that the benefit of the examination is greater than the risk. The x-ray involves a dose of ionising radiation, this can be equivalent to a few weeks, months or years (depending on the test) of natural background radiation which we are all exposed to every day. Ionising radiation can cause cell damage that may turn cancerous however the risk of this happening from your examination is considered low. The dose delivered will be kept as low as is practicable.
If you have any questions about your examination / procedure please ask your radiologist / radiographer when you come for your appointment.
More information about national radiation guidelines is available from the following websites and documents:
To access imaging (radiology) patient information leaflets, please see the CUH Patient information A-Z.
Appointment reminder can be sent via patients MyChart. You are also able to get your results of your scan / x-ray via MyChart. However there is a delay of 3 weeks from when the report is complete to when it becomes available on MyChart. This is to allow time for the clinicians to check reports before they are communicated with the patient, in case they have any queries and require further clarification.
We frequently invite patients to complete an online survey to find out what you think about the treatment and care you have received whilst in our department. This is because your feedback is important in helping us to improve Imaging services. Click here to find out more about how the Trust is acting on feedback or to provide feedback following your visit.
Who's who in imaging
Our imaging staff can be recognised by their name badge and uniform, the handy chart below should help you out when at our hospitals.
Your radiologist is a doctor who is specially trained to interpret diagnostic images such as X-rays, MRI and CT scans, to help guide the management of disease. If you have an interventional procedure (such as a tumour ablation or a biopsy) a specially trained radiologist, called an Interventional Radiologist, will perform the procedure. Some ultrasound scans are also performed by a radiologist. Radiologists provide a written report of your examination or procedure which is sent electronically to the referring clinician.
Clinical Scientists are part of the NHS healthcare science workforce and are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Within Imaging Services at CUH Clinical Scientists are primarily medical physicists, working in Nuclear Medicine, including PET/CT, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). They have a range of duties including clinical service delivery, research, management and teaching. They have particular responsibility for ensuring ionising and non-ionising radiation safety for patients, staff and the public. Clinical Scientists in imaging work closely with their colleagues in the CUH Department of Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering, including the East Anglian Regional Radiation Protection Service, as well as the University of Cambridge Department of Radiology.
Radiographers / sonographers
Your radiographer has been trained to take your X-ray, CT or MRI scan. Reporting radiographers have undertaken further training so that they can interpret diagnostic images such as X-rays and some CT scans and provide a written report. If a radiographer has been trained to perform and interpret ultrasound, they may be called a sonographer. If you have an interventional procedure (such as an angiogram or biopsy) a radiographer will be part of the team looking after you.
Radiographers complete a 3 year degree in diagnostic imaging. All radiographers must be registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) before they are allowed to work in the UK.
Across the whole of Imaging Services at CUH we have a team of about 200 radiographers. A Modality Lead is in charge of each of the main clinical areas e.g. CT, MRI, general X-ray, Ultrasound and Interventional Radiology.
Nuclear medicine technologists
These are healthcare professionals who specialise in nuclear medicine and PET-CT. They can either have a degree in Nuclear Medicine and be registered with the Register of Clinical Technologists (RCT) or alternatively they can be Radiographers who have chosen to specialise in Nuclear Medicine and PET-CT, these staff will have a degree in Diagnostic Imaging and are registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC).
The role of our radiology nurses is to support the team during interventional procedures and to care for the patients in recovery afterwards. Nurses complete a three year degree and must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) before they are allowed to work in the UK.
Our nursing team in Radiology is led by the Imaging matron.
Our assistant practitioners are to be found working in either X-ray or Breast Screening. Their main role is to perform imaging examinations, following a defined protocol, working under the supervision of a radiographer. A number of the assistant practitioners are completing an apprenticeship to become a radiographer.
Healthcare assistants (HCA), Clinical support workers (CSW) and Radiology department assistants (RDA)
The HCAs, CSWs and RDAs support radiologists, radiographers and nurses to help and care for patients. They will help prepare patients for examination, insert cannulas where required and act as chaperones.
Healthcare play specialist
Our team is lucky enough to include a healthcare play specialist who supports children and young people (between 3 - 16 years of age) achieve successful scan procedures both awake and with oral sedation. The healthcare play specialist completed a two-year Foundation Degree in Healthcare Play Specialism and has over ten years’ experience in this specialised field.
Therapeutic play is used to inform children and young people about the scan process. It uses preparation and distraction techniques to help achieve successful scan procedures. Where extra assistance is required, support plans and assessments can be used to help reduce anxiety. This results in a more positive hospital experience for the children and their parents, guardians or carers.
Administrative and clerical team
A member of this team will greet you when you arrive at one of our receptions. They will check that we have all your details and that they are correct before booking you in. Our team includes secretaries, booking staff who will book appointments and answer queries, supervisors and managers.
PACS team / PACS manager
The PACS team are an essential part of the Imaging directorate, enabling access to digital images. The Patient Archiving and Communication System (PACS) allows images to be stored, retrieved and transferred.
Where to find us
Please click here to see how you can find your way around the site.
Dr Helen Addley
Consultant radiologist and clinical director for imaging
Dr Luigi Aloj
Clinical lead, nuclear medicine, Addenbrooke's Hospital
Dr Edmund Godfrey
Consultant radiologist and endoscopist, Addenbrookes Hospital
Dr Andrew Grainger
Consultant musculoskeletal radiology
Dr Nuala Healy