Response to NPCC circular 05LL’2021

The United Kingdom Association of Forensic Nurses and Paramedics (UKAFNP) is aware of a circular published by the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) this week (Circular No: 05LL’2021). You may recall that in 2019 UKAFNP drafted guidelines for nurses and paramedics to complete the assessments of individuals subjected to Conducted Energy Devices (CED), hereafter referred to as a Taser. Following this, a joint Taser Working Group was established with representatives from UKAFNP, Faculty of Forensic Legal Medicine (FFLM), Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Royal College of Nursing, College of Paramedics and the NPCC. In addition, the group included an independent expert in Tasers, a forensic pathologist and an independent Chair.

The above circular, published this week, is in stark contrast with UKAFNP’s understanding of the group’s direction. Hence, we are disappointed to see two member organisations, the FFLM and the NPCC, clearly having been involved in separate discussions and plans outside of the group. We had understood the working group to have wholly agreed to adopt the ‘Full Guideline’ as written by UKAFNP (with some subtle changes). This included a structured, comprehensive approach to training nurses, paramedics and doctors to complete these assessments, assess competency and then ensure continuing competence. Allowing individual forces and forensic healthcare providers to develop training based on a comprehensive syllabus bespoke to the individual needs of their service. Without the need for attending a costly one-off study day, which alone cannot assure competence.

We remain a committed member of the initial Taser Working Group and will continue to engage and hopefully navigate this current situation. We are keen to hear from members and non-members about their reaction to this circular, as well as from;

  • All forensic healthcare providers
  • Police and Crime Commissioners
  • Chief Constables (or their representatives)

Please contact UKAFNP via

The United Kingdom Association of Forensic Nurses and Paramedics