Date of release: 29 May 2020
A radiographer has become the first from The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust in her role to receive European recognition.
Jo Weekes has been formally appointed to be included on the European Federation of Radiographer Societies’ (EFRS) Expert Network and joined the EFRS Nuclear Medicine Committee. It means that as vice-chair of the Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Advisory Group (Society of Radiographers (UK)), who nominated her for the vacancy, she is represented on all three main groups of her profession across the continent.
Radiographer Jo Weekes has had her work recognised across the continent by being included on the European Federation of Radiographer Societies' (EFRS) Expert Network and the EFRS Nuclear Medicine Committee
She is honoured to receive the accolades, which are reward for just over three decades in her profession. “I was thrilled at the appointment,” said Jo. “I’m hoping it will allow me the platform to continue the development of nuclear medicine and to improve the patient pathway on a national and European footing. It also gives me the platform to promote and ensure the Trust is working to the best possible practices and values that we can be.”
Recognition on a continental scale is nothing new to Jo, as she has lectured at the European Association of Nuclear Medicine in Barcelona and has taught at the Veterinary College of Portugal in Porto, and at Oxford University in nuclear medicine. She was invited to talk at the World Congress, which was due to be held in Dublin, but the event has been postponed until next year due to COVID-19.
Jo, who has been with the Trust for four years, paid tribute to her colleagues, Malcolm Foley, Head of Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering, and Dr Ian Sayers, Consultant Oncologist, for their encouragement. “My nomination is thanks to Malcolm and Dr Ian Sayers for allowing me to develop the consultant radiographer role within nuclear medicine at New Cross,” she added. “I have the drive but if it was not for Malcolm to allow me to create the pathways that I do, it would not be possible.
“The Society of Radiographers have always been very supportive of me to develop my role, along with Malcolm and Dr Ian Sayers (Consultant Oncologist). It’s because of the work I do for the Society that I’ve been in a position to develop my role, but also because they see the work I put into the profession and the promotion of improving patient pathways, they put me forward to be part of this Expert Network.”
Jo, who has previously worked at Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Cambridge, Addenbrooke’s Hospital Cambridge University Hospitals and John Radcliffe Hospital - Oxford University Hospitals, says she is inspired by Malcolm’s vision, which is wholly focused on putting patients and their care first. “If we’re prepared to spend, for example, that extra time talking to the patient, their partner and family, it means a lot to them, and I am prepared to spend that time to give them the best experience I can,” she added. “That’s Malcolm’s vision and that of the department - dealing with the patient, not the conditions, which is one of the values of the Trust.”
Jo is an accomplished dressage competitor in her spare time and has reached the national finals several times, including last month at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire, only for the event to be postponed due to the coronavirus. Having been riding horses since the age of three, she successfully combined her profession and her hobby with a 13-year stint developing nuclear medicine in performance horses at the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket from 2000. While employed there she co-wrote an academic reference book, called Equine Scintigraphy, with leading veterinary surgeon Dr Sue Dyson. Jo’s work with horses took her through the whole pathway from arrival at the Animal Health Trust through to investigation and discharge, enabling her to take on a more research-based role on her return to work with humans in 2013.
Malcolm said: “I am really pleased for Jo on her appointment to the EFRS Nuclear Medicine Committee. I know she will continue to work tirelessly to represent the UK and this will benefit our patients, the service and the Trust. Not only does Jo work hard for the profession, but she is an accomplished rider and still manages to find time compete at a very high level in dressage, having recently qualified for the 2020 national finals which unfortunately were cancelled due to the coronavirus.”
David Loughton, Chief Executive at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, said: “We are thrilled and proud at Jo’s appointment to the European Federation of Radiographer Societies’ (EFRS) Expert Network and the EFRS Nuclear Medicine Committee. Her inclusion is testament to her outstanding commitment and dedication, diligence and superb work she has done for the Trust over the last four years, and indeed over her career in radiography.”