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Non-ionising radiations

The Radiation Physics and Protection Service (RRPPS) provide a range of non-ionising radiation services, involving lasers, ultrasound and ultraviolet.


RRPPS act as Laser Protection Adviser (LPA) for both NHS and private lasers and as required by the Guidance on the Safe Use of Lasers, intense light source systems and LEDs in medical, surgical, dental and aesthetic practices published by the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, Department of Health 2015.

The LPA:

  • advises on new facilities, risk assessment, warning signs, safety equipment, procedures, local rules and training
  • will inspect personal protective equipment and be available to advise on the purchase of suitable eyewear
  • performs annual audits and risk assessments to ensure that the lasers meet the necessary requirements in terms of output, alignment, safe operation, correctly functioning safety features, and that controlled areas are suitably designated and protected
  • investigates incidents of a suspected or actual accidental exposure to the laser beam
  • advises private users of lasers on how to comply with the Private and Voluntary Health Care (England) Regulations 2001
  • advises users on how to comply with the Control of Artificial Optical Radiation at Work Regulations 2010 and other relevant legislation
  • RRPPS also runs laser safety courses every year and can provide bespoke training tailored to the users individual requirements by prior arrangement


RRPPS has an expanding team of experienced physicists for ultrasound performance testing and safety checks. Tests are carried out using nationally-recognised standard test objects, with methods based on national guidelines including both the IPEM Report No. 102, 2010, and NHSBSP Publication No. 70, 2011.

The following RRPPS ultrasound services are currently offered:

  • acceptance/commissioning of new ultrasound imaging equipment to check that the optimal equipment performance can be achieved, to determine the baseline image quality parameters and to ensure safety
  • annual quality control testing, and safety checks are performed to ensure optimal performance and safety is maintained. Performance parameter comparisons are carried out using past RRPPS reports and baseline measurements
  • quality control and safety survey for the NHS Breast Screening programme, conforming to NHSBSP Publications
  • advice and support for the implementation of routine local user quality assurance programmes specific to the ultrasound applications

Ultraviolet and other optical radiations

A comprehensive safety and Quality Assurance (QA) service is provided for users of ultraviolet and other optical radiations (such as blue light and photodynamic therapy). The aim of the service is for users to obtain accurate and effective treatment delivery from the equipment and meet good practice obligations regarding the safety of staff, patients and the public. Regular QA of equipment also identifies required corrective action which can reduce treatment times and improve patient management.

The service covers both advice and regular QA surveys. The advice covers issues including:

  • prior examination of and advice on plans for new facilities
  • requirements for warning signs and other safety equipment
  • procedures, leading to safe working practices

The regular survey is to ensure that the equipment continues to be used safely. Tests include:

  • irradiance measurements at typical patient treatment positions and over individual lamps to identify those in need of replacement
  • radiant exposure measurements at typical patient treatment positions to test the accuracy of treatment
  • further measurements can include source leakage for purposes of risk assessment

Last reviewed: 15 August 2023