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Principal Physicist Brachytherapy

The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
£66,718 to £76,271 per annum inc HCAS
Closing date
29 Sep 2023

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Other Health Profession
Band 8B
Contract Type
Full Time
We are looking for an enthusiastic physicist with considerable in depth experience and technical expertise in Radiotherapy Physics to join the Physics and Engineering team at the Chelsea branch of the Hospital, in a permanent post. Applicants should have a good honours degree in physics or a closely related discipline, plus an MSc relevant to Radiotherapy physics, and Registration as a Clinical Scientist.Experience of treatment planning , brachytherapy and an appreciation of QA, dosimetry and IT applied to RT are expected. Participation in and leading of innovative project work is also encouraged.

The Radiotherapy Department at Chelsea has4 Varian Truebeams providing VMAT, SRS, SABR, CBCT and fff delivery. Additional equipment includes the Brainlab ExacTrac imaging system. A Cyberknife radiosurgery unit is in clinical use. External beam treatment planning systems include Eclipse, Preciseplan, Oncentra and BrainLab. 4D CT acquisition is applied for lung and liver imaging. HDR for gynaecological malignancies (using IGBT) (Oncentra) and Iodine seed brachytherapy are also performed.

For informal visits and further enquiries, contact Margaret Bidmead, Head of Physics on 020 78082506 or Carole Meehan , Head of Treatment planning, on 020 7 8082500.

Main duties of the job

The Radiotherapy Physics Group is primarily responsible for providing a high quality, innovative, state-of the art clinical and scientific service to the Radiotherapy Department of The Royal Marsden Foundation Trust. The work of the Group requires in-depth scientific and technical expertise in radiation physics, electronic & mechanical engineering and computing. Treatment is delivered using one of 4 Varian Truebeam linacs,(one with an ExacTrac unit) , a cyberknife , an HDR brachytherapy unit and prostate brachytherapy with iodine seeds.
  • The post holder will be expected to provide scientific leadership and direction to the Brachytherapy Section especially , but also to participate in the Radiotherapy treatment planning section of the Radiotherapy Physics Group. Managing the diverse work and staff of the brachytherapy physics section, the post holder will ensure the provision of the best possible scientific and technical brachytherapy service to the Trust.
  • The post holder will be responsible for leading the work of brachytherapy planning , QA , dosimetry and radiation protection relevant to brachytherapy . Also co-ordinating this with other Radiotherapy groups, organising the rota, working closely with radiographers, clinicians and scientific staff in Brachytherapy, Theatres, Radiotherapy and Clinical Services.
  • The post requires significant management skills in ensuring the highest level of timely communication between physicists, clinicians & radiographer staff.

About us

The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust is a world-leading cancer centre. Our role is to offer our patients the best cancer care available anywhere in the world, and to continue to make a global contribution to finding better ways of diagnosing and treating cancer. We employ over 4,500 staff in a diverse range of careers including nursing, medical, science, radiography, pharmacy, occupational therapy, finance and administrative services. We have two hospitals - one in Chelsea, London, and one in Sutton, Surrey - as well as a Medical Daycare Unit in Kingston Hospital.

At The Royal Marsden, we deal with cancer every day, so we understand how valuable life is. When people entrust their lives to us, they have the right to demand the very best. That's why the pursuit of excellence lies at the heart of everything we do.

At the heart of the hospital is our dedicated team. We offer a stimulating and dynamic working environment, a wide range of staff benefits, learning and development opportunities and clear career pathways. There are opportunities to work flexibly across a range of areas and specialities and we welcome flexible working requests from point of hire to support employees work life balance. We are looking for employees who aspire to excellence, share our values and can play a crucial role in our on-going achievements.

Job description

Job responsibilities

For further information on this role, please see the attached detailed Job Description and Person Specification.

Clinical Service
  • Provide leadership and co-ordinate all Physicist staff, trainees and visitors in the Brachytherapy section, working closely with the staff of the treatment planning and Radiotherapy Department to provide a high quality clinical, scientific and technical treatment planning service to the Royal Marsden Hospital.
  • Ensure that appropriate quality control and data back-up procedures are followed on brachytherapy treatment planning, radiotherapy imaging and associated systems, liaising with the appropriate manufacturers and radiotherapy physics staff to solve any problems, following appropriate reporting systems and informing the Head of Group and relevant clinical oncologist of any dosimetric or geometric errors involving their patients.
  • Initiate commissioning of new hardware and software upgrades to the relevant computer systems and networks to ensure accurate and efficient continuity of the planning and treatment verification service.
  • Supervise and participate in the careful planning, checking and dosimetric verification of complex patient treatment plans, as required.
  • Supervise or participate in radiotherapy equipment calibrations, quality control and dosimetry cross-calibrations, when required.
  • Present scientific abstracts at external meetings and conferences, publishing orig9inal papers or technical notes in peer reviewed journals.
  • Contribute to and review clinical trials within radiotherapy .

  • Set and maintain high standards in the safe and effective application of physical principles to radiotherapy physics in the performance of staff, clinical procedures and the utilisation of equipment.
  • Ensure that a programme of Quality Control in maintained, to make sure all brachytherapy treatment related equipment is fit for clinical use, meets professionally accepted standards and is regularly checked in accordance with national regulations and professionally-recognised best practice.
  • The post holder will act as a Medical Physicist Expert under the definition of IR (ME) R Regulations, in accordance with Trust Policies and Practices. The post holder will coordinate the work of other Medical Physics Experts in the Section and oversee the work of section staff acting as operators under IRMER.
  • The post holder will contribute to the maintenance and updating of radiation protection risks and assessments, local rules, and relevant procedures and practices.
  • Ensure that the ISO 9001 2000 Quality Management System in Radiotherapy is maintained and developed to minimise clinical risk in this area of responsibility. Ensuring quality procedures are followed and periodically reviewed within the Section.
  • Lead senior staff to co-ordinate the introduction of new radiotherapy treatments and radiotherapy related imaging procedures into Brachytherapy, in collaboration with other professional staff.
  • Take overall responsibility for maintaining proper Health & Safety standards and adherence to regulations within the Section.
  • Provide complex scientific and technical advice to clinical staff, as required. Investigate complex and subtle equipment and operational problems to identify solutions.

  • Prioritise and manage own work and work of senior and junior physicists to meet agreed outcomes. Delegate and supervise tasks where appropriate.
  • To act as a specialist lead physicist in the area of Brachytherapy. Carry out and co-ordinate annual appraisal of staff for whom the post holder is responsible and agree annual training and development plans. Ensure that staff undertake Continuing Professional Development.
  • Ensure that staff training and development in the Section are given a high priority including achievements of structured training plans and the delivery of internal seminars.
  • Ensure good communication between staff in the Section, the rest of the group and the Radiotherapy Department. Coordinate the work of the Section with the needs of the clinical users and delegate tasks appropriately.
  • Provide brachytherapy and other statistics, as required by the Head of Group.

Person Specification



  • Good (1st or 2nd class) Honours degree in a relevant subject
  • MSc in radiation Physics (or equivalent)
  • IPEM Certificate of completion of Post-qualification Higher Training or equivalent (e.g. Corporate Membership of IPEM))
  • PhD in relevant subject (or equivalent)



  • State registration as a Clinical Scientist

Scientific Technical Skills


  • Very significant experience and in depth knowledge of brachytherapy and radiotherapy
  • Sufficient knowledge and experience to act as a Medical Physics Expert under (ME) R within a specialty in the field of Radiotherapy
  • Extensive knowledge of the techniques employed to measure the performance and radiological safety of complex radiotherapy and brachytherapy treatment and equipment
  • Significant experience of using judgement and specialised knowledge in radiotherapy treatment planning and brachytherapy to optimise radiotherapy treatments
  • Considerable experience in the use of specialised test equipment employed to measure the safety and performance of radiotherapy treatment units.
  • Considerable experience of commissioning, dosimetry and quality control of brachytherapy systems
  • Sufficient knowledge and experience to act as a Medical Physics Expert under IR (ME) R within the speciality of Brachytherapy



  • High level of understanding of clinical requirements and tolerances in radiotherapy treatment.



  • Able to prioritise and manage own work and that of others in line management chain
  • Able to exercise own initiative when dealing with issues within own specialist area of competence


  • Experience of managing a small team of staff who provide a clinical service
  • Experience of managing a scientific project team
  • Knowledge of employment procedures and practices.

IT Skills


  • Able to use Excel, Word etc. to set up documents, spreadsheets and extract information



  • Able to concentrate frequently when subject to unpredictable working patterns.
  • Able to concentrate for prolonged periods (e.g. checking complex treatment plans to meet tight deadlines)
  • Able to deal with complex and unpredictable situations while maintaining a calm manner and professional standard.
  • Able to deal with occasional distressing circumstances (e.g. working with patients having advanced cancer in Radiotherapy)



  • Able to communicate highly complex information clearly [e.g. postgraduate level physics material to other professional groups]
  • Able to present scientific abstracts at national and international conferences and publish papers in relevant, peer reviewed journals.
  • Able to train groups of other multi-disciplinary professional staff
  • Able to deliver teaching and training on complex subjects
  • Able to deal with complex and unpredictable situations

  • Any attachments will be accessible after you click to apply.


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