@NHS from 07/01/19 to 11/01/19
Patient/Carer or NHS Staff: NHS staff
Condition or job title: Therapeutic radiographer
Place of treatment/care or workplace: Gamma Knife Centre, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London
My name is Will Kinnaird and I am a therapeutic radiographer working in Gamma Knife at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London. I qualified from London South Bank University after training at Guy’s and St Thomas’s NHS Trust with a postgraduate diploma in 2012. I later went on to convert this to an MSc after completing research into side effects associated with prostate cancer. I came to this profession later in life after working for more than a decade as a newspaper journalist. After qualifying as a radiographer, I joined UCLH radiotherapy department for five years where I worked on treatment machines and in the treatment planning department. I was also a Society of Radiographers representative covering both Health and Safety and Industrial Relations.
In 2017, I joined the Gamma Knife Center to specialise in brain ‘radiosurgery’. Historically, gamma knife emerged from a neurosurgery background rather than oncology so we are something of a quirk in radiotherapy. We treat benign conditions as well as cancer and also run a service with our neighbours in Great Ormond Street Hospital. We are the NHS Supra Center for the South of England, meaning all the most complex cases come to us.
Part of my job is to raise awareness about the treatment we can give, especially for secondary brain tumors. We have a relatively low public profile, even among oncologists, so raising awareness is important to ensure that patients have the best possible outcomes.
I’m a very proud radiographer and love telling people about the technological advances in my trade – we also have the proton centre on the way here at UCLH. Our wonderful profession is really struggling to recruit and university courses have begun closing down this year. It would be great to tell people what a fulfilling and stimulating job this is.