10.3 million ultrasound scans were undertaken in NHS facilities in 19-201, making them the second most widely undertaken diagnostic scan in the UK. This number has growth by 31%, in only 8 years since 2012-131, and with more specialities coming onboard, this is set to increase.

This growth of nearly a third, reflects a huge increase in demand for diagnosis and therefore skilled ultrasound practitioners. It is now as important as ever to ensure that all trainees undertake full practical scanning training under the guided supervision of experienced sector leaders. The Wessex Diagnostic course programme is a great starting block.

Total scan numbers have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in recent months, as to be expected. The number of ultrasound scans in November 2019 was 884,810 whilst in November 2020 there were 774,8002 – the latter still surprisingly high as the UK was in full lockdown? It is a testament to our strong NHS teams that kept the diagnosis’ coming during such testing times.

It is also heartening to see that there has been little effect on the returning of result reports. For all diagnostic reports, we are pleased to see ultrasound has the highest returned on the same day at a huge 94% 2! The sector has always been high but have worked hard to increase this from 84% in 2012-13.

With trepidation and quiet optimism, we will all be taking small steps towards getting things back on track. In ultrasound training, adjusting courses to ensure safe social distancing and carefully following all government guidelines.

Wishing you all well.

The WD team.


1    Diagnostic Imaging Dataset Annual Statistical Release 2019/20: NHS England and NHS Improvement

2   Diagnostic Imaging Dataset Statistical Release Provisional monthly statistics, November 2019 to November 2020: NHS England and NHS Improvement