Results of a UK survey on methods for compensating for unscheduled treatment interruptions and errors in treatment delivery.
Dale RG., Jones B., Sinclair JA., Comins C., Antoniou E.
In order to obtain a preliminary overview of the current national status regarding the management of both unintentional interruptions to radiotherapy treatments and inadvertent errors in treatment delivery, a short questionnaire was sent to 60 UK radiotherapy departments, of which 35 (58%) responded. The study was initiated by the authors and was not commissioned by any professional body. Amongst the centres which responded the majority (86%) currently have standardized protocols in place for dealing with treatment interruptions and many have extended the enactment of compensation methods to cover a wider range of tumour types than are encompassed within the Royal College of Radiologists (RCR)-defined Categories 1 and 2. Fewer of the respondents (60%) have standardized methods for dealing with treatment errors. Given that 42% of centres did not respond it is difficult to assess the fuller national picture. Some smaller departments may seek protocols or advice from larger adjacent centres, but the overall percentage of centres with systems in place may be lower than indicated from the survey results. The desirability of providing training in the radiobiological methods pertaining to treatment compensation was raised by a number of respondents.