The national PET-CT contract is being composed red for re-tender. In my view, Image Acquisition and Image Reporting need to be separated in the tender. Tendering should be for image acquisition only--NOT reporting. There IS need for centralised PET-CT image acquisition. However, images should be then sent back to the local PACS (from where the referral originated).
Modern PACS systems are capable of PET-CT display and reporting-either inherently or via use of a plug-in. Reporting on local PACS will result in high quality reports as radiologists reporting in the local institutions will have 1. access to full imaging history--prior MRI, CT etc and reports 2. access to histopathology, blood results 3. access to MDT outcomes, clinic letters, discharge summaries etc This is essential for a high quality patient service
If local hospitals do NOT have local PET-CT reporting expertise, they can 1. insource reporting from a local hospital or 2. outsource reporting until they recruit someone with PET-CT reporting expertise They should be given the choice.