AN X-RAY machine at York Hospital has been out of action for more than a year - but hospital bosses insist its unavailability has had no impact on patients.

The hospital has also been affected by a national shortage of radiographers, with seven vacancies unfilled until recently.

The Press contacted the York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust after a source claimed staff had been given repeated assurances that the out-of-action machine would be repaired or replaced, but this still hadn’t happened after more than 12 months.

The source said staff were very concerned, in particular about what would happen if another such machine were to break down.

A trust spokeswoman confirmed that the machine had been out for more than a year but said the hospital was currently awaiting its replacement through the trust’s capital investment scheme.

“As there is sufficient X-ray equipment to manage demand, there is no wait to get an X-ray and no impact on patients,” she said. She clarified that the machine which wasn’t working was in the main X-ray department, where there were another three machines in use.

“Mobile X-ray units are in use across the hospital and can be used in the main X-ray department if there is demand for more than three working rooms at any given time.”

She said she wanted to reiterate that there was sufficient X-ray equipment to manage demand and no wait for patients to get an X-ray.

She said it was well documented that there was a shortage of radiographers nationally and the trust continued to explore new approaches to address this.

“We are working hard to recruit to our current vacancies, which we hope to fill in the coming weeks,” she said. “In the meantime, we are using locums to ensure we can continue to provide and maintain services.”

She said three new staff had very recently been recruited, one a fully qualified radiographer and two trainees, who would be fully qualified once they were in post next year.

Asked how many radiographers were employed at the hospital, she said the staffing level was 47.65 full time equivalent posts.