Sexual assault kit and DNA backlogs across the USA are in the news with alarming frequency. With rising public outcry gaining the attention of media and lawmakers, it is critical that laboratory and agency leaders are forward-thinking in their approach to solutions and proposing efficient and effective new processes.
More people could die or suffer harm in police custody unless the NHS tightens new standards for nurses and other professionals working with this vulnerable group, claim forensic nursing experts.
A failure to ensure those working in this complex and challenging field have the right skills also risks putting put inexperienced staff under intolerable strain and driving them away from the profession, say nurses who have called for urgent revisions to service specifications.
The Government in conjunction with the;
Have published new update of the use of Naloxone, Widening the availability of Naloxone. The changes make it easier for to order naloxone, to administer naloxone and to supply naloxone to individuals that are likely to either come across individuals suffering a opiate overdose or at risk of overdosing on opiates, without a prescription. The increased availability is aimed to decreased the number of deaths associated with opiate overdose.
Potential implications for custody healthcare
A full index of the content of mental health authorised professional practice (APP) is available. This module, when published, will wholly replace and decommission the existing ACPO (now NPCC) and Department of Health (2010) guidance on responding to people with mental ill health or learning disabilities.
This APP on mental health has been developed through:
- consolidating and updating pre-existing guidance
- professional expertise of police and voluntary sector practitioners
- international and national legislation, statutory codes of practice and relevant case law
- IPCC lessons learnt from deaths following police contact, (and successful interventions).
The section on communication skills and techniques draws on findings from systematic reviews of research evidence. Where the guidance draws on any empirical evidence, it is explicitly referenced in the text.
Mental health APP is intended to provide guidance to the police service of England and Wales. It is focused on the police response to people who:
- are experiencing mental ill health
- have a learning disability
- have developmental conditions
- have multiple needs relating to mental health
- are mentally or emotionally vulnerable and require assistance.
The guidance highlights the actions and behaviours that may help the police address the needs of mentally vulnerable individuals, whether they are acting in a criminal justice or health care capacity, or in both of these roles. When acting in a criminal justice capacity, the police will become involved when a person is a victim of crime, a witness to crime or is suspected of or known to have committed a crime. When acting in a healthcare capacity, the police may be:
- acting in support of healthcare agencies that are dealing with someone experiencing mental ill health (for example, by using police powers)
- supporting a person experiencing mental ill health until healthcare professionals are involved
- responding to families and carers of people with mental ill health or learning disabilities who have concerns about them
- responding to members of the public seeking a service from the police in relation to suspected mental ill health or learning disabilities on the part of an individual.
To review please click here.
CLOSING DATE; 15th December 2015
Digital Crime Scene Photography Module
We have one copy of this online module to give away to one lucky UKAFN member. The module will cover all the basic aspects of forensic and crime scene photography and useful for anyone interested in forensic work.
To enter see: UKAFN Newsletter No 5 (Members only)
We have one copy of Cambridge University Press latest book titled Forensic Gynaecology. The text currently retails at £55 and has 179 pages. We are giving one lucky UKAFN member the opportunity to win their own copy.
To enter see: UKAFN Newsletter No 5 (Members only)
An independent review of how the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) investigate and prosecute rape cases, published today, 2 June, has provided a timely, informative and candid overview of our joint-working practices; which will act as a framework for major changes in the future.
In June 2014 the Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, and Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders commissioned the Right Honourable Dame Elish Angiolini DBE QC to conduct a victim-centred review of current protocols and procedures, and identify where improvements could be made.
This was as a result of a significant increase in the number of rape allegations made, either recent or non recent, in London in the year 2013 – 2014, following the high profile Operation Yewtree.
As part of the review, Dame Elish Angiolini DBE QC scrutinised working practices, reviewed sample case files and consulted with victims and other organisations to build an overall picture of the service to victims.
The Commissioner said: “We commissioned this report from Dame Elish following the large increase in the reporting of rape. Year on year, victims have demonstrated the confidence to come forward and report this most horrendous of crimes.
DOWNLOAD: Dame Elish Review (pdf)
This article outlines the role of the custody nurse in assessing an individual’s fitness to be detained. It addresses all aspects of the assessment, including consent, responsibilities and the structure of the clinical examination. It explores ways to ensure that the detainee’s rights and welfare are maintained and their healthcare needs are met. It offers guidance on preparing a care plan for detained individuals that the police can implement.
Doctors, nurses and paramedics working in police custody call for standards to protect patients and avoid miscarriages of justice
In 2015 the Government have commissioned an independent review into Deaths and serious incidents in custody. In October 2015 Dame Elish Angiolini, DBE, QC, FRSA, was appointed to lead this review.
As professional bodies whose primary agenda is to raise standards, provide a competent workforce with integrity UKAFN along with the FFLM and the College of Paramedics believe that this review should examine the current variations in the training and competence of healthcare professionals working in this field, as well as the need for appropriate qualifications and training.
UKAFN and our clinical partners have drafted the following press release. We have also written to Dame Elish to voice this view and request our representatives are included in her review panel moving forward.
If you have any feedback on this please contact UKAFN at firstname.lastname@example.org
The FFLM have asked us to help advertise their up coming study days. They are holding revision study days. One for sexual offences in December followed by one for general forensic medicine in January 2016.
Details of the SOM day with the days schedule can be found in the ‘courses’ tab of our website.
The six monthly review of the Forensic Sampling guidelines has just been completed in July and published by the FFLM.
Please see the link for the up to date guidelines. These will be reviewed again in Jan 2016.