The majority of interventional radiology (IR) departments in the UK ensured that vital on-call and urgent services remained uninterrupted during the COVID-19 crisis, including ongoing access to most IR sub-specialties, a recent survey reported.
An electronic survey was completed by members of the British Society of Interventional Radiology. The response rate for the survey was ~29 per cent.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, 81 per cent of respondents reported that they were able to maintain 24/7 on-call service. Fifty-nine per cent of respondents said they were required to change their day-to-day practice in order to ensure the continuation of the on-call service. Of those required to make changes in their practice, 81 per cent reported reducing diagnostic radiology activity, and 36 per cent reported increased working hours.
Fifty-four per cent of respondents were involved in providing central venous catheter service for COVID-19 patients. At the time of the survey, 91 per cent of respondents were still providing endovascular services, 98 per cent were providing genitourinary IR services and 92 per cent were providing hepatobiliary services.
Thirty-eight per cent of respondents reported providing additional training to IR trainees during the crisis, either using online learning materials or practical hands-on training.
Writing in the journal CVIR Endovascular, the authors said: "As a modern progressive specialty, interventional radiology adapted quickly to meet the demands of this unexpected healthcare crisis, and that it is, and remains, an essential service to a wide variety of hospital departments."