A fourth inquiry has been launched into allegations of mismanagement at a leading radiology department, according to 'whistleblowers' who raised concerns about the department at Hammersmith Hospitals trust.

An 'administrative review' of the school of medicine at Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine is examining 'the management of the research and NHS interfaces'. Many of the senior staff at Hammersmith are academics from Imperial College.

Concerns over a backlog of thousands of unreported films, the use of research funds and the safety of on call rotas across the trust's west London sites have already led to two investigations.

A fresh NHS inquiry into the department has this week agreed its terms of reference with staff who made the allegations.

The trust was the first to become 'filmless', with all scans and X-rays kept on a£22m computer system.

Imperial College's administrative review is looking at the whole school of medicine but will examine key allegations made by academic staff working at the trust, including 'the mechanism within the school of medicine for financial control and management'.

A former member of Imperial College staff at the Hammersmith Hospitals imag ing depar tment, Professor Peter Dawson, said: 'It seems too much of a coincidence that Imperial are holding a review now at a time when it happens that there is a an external inquiry.'

The independent inquiry into the imaging department, led by Professor Ian Cameron, vice-chancellor at University of Wales College of Medicine, will examine the management and performance of the department and alleged victimisation of academic and NHS staff who raised concerns.

School of Medicine principal Professor Chris Edwards refused to comment on the review.