Derry man is top radiographer

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A Derry man has been named UK Radiographer of the Year.

Gerry Johnson, originally from Farren Park, also scooped the North West title in the Radiography Awards 2012 which took place at the House of Commons in London.

Gerry Johnson, centre, receiving his award with, from left, Mark van Rossum, award sponsor Fujifilm, and Anna vann der Gaag, Chair of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Gerry Johnson, centre, receiving his award with, from left, Mark van Rossum, award sponsor Fujifilm, and Anna vann der Gaag, Chair of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Gerry said: “I am very pleased and honoured to be given recognition by the Society of Radiographers, particularly recognising ultrasound practice, which is a first I think.”

Qualifying in 1995, Gerry worked as a diagnostic radiographer for several years before training in ultrasound.

He obtained a masters degree with a research study into the benefits of pre operative ultrasound in patients with Adenomyosis and has been lead sonographer at the University Hospital of South Manchester for the past six years.

“Gerry strives for high standards of care and has introduced a number of ground breaking initiatives to ensure that patients are central to all we do,” says Andrea Owen who made the nomination for the award.

“An example is a service he set up at the local women’s prison to enable pregnant prisoners to have their scans on site, maintaining their privacy and dignity by negating the need for a prison officer to be present in the room.”

Gerry’s other achievements include reducing ultrasound waiting times by setting up a daily scanning service on several wards in the hospital.

He also led the ultrasound department through a reorganisation, introducing the role of duty sonographer to act as a trouble shooter/second opinion, further reducing waiting times and enabling staff to have regular rest periods.

As a member of the wider management team at UHSM, Gerry has just completed a major project looking at in-patient (IP) flow through ultrasound, as well as the busy CT department, MR and interventional.

The project has delivered an IP booking clerk who co-ordinates the porters and informs wards when patients will be attending for examination – this ensures that patients are ready when the porters arrive and has reduced phone calls into radiology asking about examination times.

To complete the project. Gerry worked with nursing staff, porters and radiology staff to deliver a more co-ordinated approach.

“Gerry is not afraid to change services for the benefit of patients and staff,” says Andrea. “He is also committed to ultrasound education and has a honorary lecturing post at Liverpool University. He has an excellent level of knowledge and is often asked by radiology registrars for advice or assistance with complex scans.

“He regularly stays late or has short lunch breaks to ensure patients are promptly scanned. To sum up, he is hard working and dedicated to his patients, staff and the wider department.”

Gerry said he was “proud and honoured” to have won the national title.

“To receive this award from the Society of Radiographers – my professional body – is particularly rewarding, not only for myself but it is worthy recognition of my colleagues in the ultrasound and radiology directorate at the trust.

“I would like to thank my radiology manager Stephanie Carney and my colleague Andrea Owen for nominating me and my wife Helen for all her support and my children Erin, Connor and Orla.”