The county councils do not meet the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority’s requirements in terms of radiation safety. This implies that their health and medical services have deficiencies in this area that could lead to serious consequences for patients and staff, a conclusion based on the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority’s compilation of information from the nine county councils that underwent the inspections.
The starting point for radiation-safe health and medical care is that all medical exposure is justified and optimised, and that dose limits for staff and the general public are not exceeded. In brief, this means that radiation must not be used unnecessarily and that the dose for people must be as low as possible while at the same time achieving the results intended. Radiation-safe health and medical care presupposes that applicable legislation and regulations are complied with.
There were considerable deficiencies in the inspected county councils’ organisation, management, follow-ups and development of their work involving radiation, which is deemed as the root cause of non-compliance with other requirements as well. Above all, the responsibility for radiation safety work did not follow the organisational structure, bringing about a situation where there was a lack of authority for decision-making in this area. In its turn, this situation implied an elevated risk of deficient or incorrectly performed examinations and therapy.
None of the county councils that underwent the inspections performed systematic evaluations of radiation safety work, resulting in the upper management of the county councils and hospitals being unaware of these deficiencies.
This report is also available in Swedish:
2012:23 Samlad strålsäkerhetsvärdering av hälso- och sjukvården