Co-writing chapter ‘Court Skills’ with James Bloomer for Forensic Gynaecology. Started ‘Clinical Assessment and Documentation of Detainees’ for Monitoring Detention. Meeting with James Bloomer of Goldsmiths Chambers. Meeting with Jonathan Fingerhut of Strategic Marketing for Schools. Meeting with Rebus. Meeting with Reprieve, with Maya Foa and others, including Clive Stafford Smith. Addressed additional issues for long and complex inquest. Due to meet with two MSc students to review dissertation plans. Lecturing to Public and Primary Healthcare meeting at Birmingham NEC, on ‘Healthcare of Detainees in Police Custody’. Preparing poster for 7th Non-Lethal Weapons Symposium in Ettlingen. Meeting with Tim Girvan concerning new design and expanded range of Forensigraph. Attended MoJ consultation on PCT, QASA and legal aid changes. Unbelievable how appalling civil servants responses were. A disaster waiting to happen.
A little behind on a number of projects with chapters due on witness in court, sexual assault, sexual assault in detention and healthcare of detainees. Also two complex child abuse case overviews. Hope to tackle this week. Was in Guildford for rape trial last week, followed by a s18 assault (rubber mallet, yes or no) in Southampton. Before this in Bruxelles for Relex Sanctions meeting reviewing export of goods with potential for use in death penalty or torture. Met detectives from Dyfed-Powys who brought knife exhibits for review. Travelled to Weetford Hall in Leeds for Faculty of Forensic & Legal Medicine annual meeting. Presented data from membership survey of usage of Journal of Forensic & Legal Medicine. Excellent meeting, good speakers, vigorous debate. Congratulations to new President, Vicky Evans, and new Vice-Presidents, Paul Marks, Peter Green, and George Fernie.
Telecon regarding retrial of murder case in Scotland. Issues relate to asphyxia/blunt force injury and blood. s18 case of delayed splenic rupture some days after possible left chest trauma. s18 case of spiral fracture to tibia and fibula. Causation in both these cases. Decision still awaited. Attendance at Faculty of Forensic & Legal Medicine meeting with Aisling Murphy of Elsevier to discuss Journal of Forensic & Legal Medicine. Surveymonkey questionnaire generated to address questions regarding utility of Journal and experience of publishing, went live on 26th April pm thanks to super-efficient FFLM staff. Forensics Expo Europe visited with FHC Expert for Law Managing Director and Case Manager. Contacts with a variety of companies. Caught up with Denise Syndercombe-Court on the Kings College stand. Revision session for MSc students at Barts and the London. Submitted papers on use of force, irritant spray and Taser in time for deadline for the 7th European Symposium on Non-Lethal Weapons in Ettlingen in June. FHC Experts for Law (www.forensic-healthcare.com) went live with new mediation service with strong panel of established mediators – FHC for Mediation (www.fhcformediation.com) recognised as Accredited Provider of Civil Mediation Council and for the Ministry of Justice. Completed response to CMC regard.ding consultation on accreditation of mediators. Next week – two court cases – child abuse – bruise interpretation and ageing and s18 – causation of injury and number of impacts. On call for Met Police as FME. To Toronto for final meeting of Taser review panel. Meeting due with CEO of London Independent Hospital. Only around for two days over Bank Holiday weekend and then off to Bruxelles for EU meeting on review of measures against torture.
As there is too much to fit in. Due to attend Warwick CC on Tuesday but Judge was ill. Two days trying to re-arrange case. Bristol CC sexual assault case pleaded after 9 months on day before due to give evidence. Conference related to a complaint against police. On call as FME for MPS. Completion of update Level 3 Safeguarding training via e-Learning for Healthcare (also completion of 139 Medical Examiner modules). Travel to Liverpool for a drink drive fail to provide appeal. Determination on day to abandon. VT link with Birmingham CC to deal with case from Tuesday – never ideal way of giving evidence, particularly when trying to illustrate knife injuries. Court staff on strike after 1pm so left to my own devices once oath sworn and ~ 1 hour evidence. Back South for 50th birthday party and get together of mainly sailing mates. That’s enough for 4 days thank you.
Started off with the Academic Committee of the Faculty of Forensic & Legal Medicine (fflm.ac.uk). Visit to the Tavistock Clinic. Endoscopy list at Queensway Surgery, Southend-on-Sea. Substantial amount of on-duty as Forensic Medical Examiner for the Metropolitan Police Service, covering a number of unfamiliar police stations in north London. The usual spread of fascinating clinical cases, mixed in with the more commonplace forensic vulnerabilities (mental health, drugs and alcohol). Still somewhat frustrated by government and senior health leaders failure to recognise physical vulnerabilities of detainees (although huge emphasis in Twitter and on blogs about mental health issues – which are tremendously important, but not the sole healthcare problem). Margaret Stark, Mike Scott-Ham and I well advanced in draft of 3rd Edition of Symptoms and Signs of Substance Misuse, and John Gall and I getting on with content and authors for Current Practice in Forensic Medicine 2. Below are some pics of where I’ve been this week, including Paddington Green Police Station, British Transport Police, Whitfield Street, Stoke Newington Police Station. And a tree surgeon up a tree in Portman Square. All in London, UK.
…with a case conference regarding a prison medical negligence case with claimant and claimant solicitors and counsel. On call for Met Police as Forensic Medical Examiner. Due to travel by Eurostar on Tuesday morning to Bruxelles but after 3 hours service was suspended due to French and Belgian snow on track. Meeting with mediator. Finalising text of Symptoms & Signs of Substance Misuse. Rewriting contract letters for FHC Mediation. More plagiarism allegations in Journal – an increasingly frequent, and often substantiated claim. Telecon with Canada finalising draft of report on Conducted Energy Devices. Commenting on patent application for audio device. Couple of medical reports on sexual assault and another for complaint against police.
Delighted to say that after a two year campaign in company with Dr Peter Green, have been entered on the General Medical Council Specialist Register with the Specialty ‘Forensic & Legal Medicine’. Peter and I have had to undergo along and complex process to achieve the Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration, as the specialty does not currently exist in the UK. The certificate holder is said to have ‘a level of knowledge and skill consistent with practice as a consultant in any of the UK health services’. The process is not open to those who have solely trained and only possess UK post-graduate qualifications, but may be to those with overseas qualifications. The first hurdle which took many months to achieve was to even be eligible for consideration. That requires us obtaining overseas qualifications recognised by the GMC. Subsequently an entire dossier of validated and authenticated documentation covering a wide range of domains over the course of your career is required to be submitted and assessed. Of course a substantial fee (and in my case supplementary fee) is required by the GMC. Details can be found at http://www.gmc-uk.org/doctors/abouteligibility.asp. Peter Green was awarded the first Certificate in this specialty, and myself the second. We are thus the only GMC recognised specialists in Forensic & Legal Medicine at the current time. It will be interesting to see how many further applications follow.
Had a successful meeting with Roger Byard and have now completed the draft contents for the 2nd edition of the Encyclopedia of Forensic & Legal Medicine. Gave evidence at a recent inquest in Neath (http://tinyurl.com/crmkehb) which resulted in a narrative verdict. Teaching to MSc students on Injury Documentation and Interpretation. Came 3rd in the RORC Caribbean 600 race. Due to undertake two mediation observations next week, with a telecon regarding 3rd edition of Symptoms and Signs of Substance Misuse (now in addition to Margaret Stark and myself, with toxicologist Mike Scott-Ham, adding to the mix). And finally giving evidence to the General Medical Council in a medical negligence case. Mid-week hope to attend a Custody Forum for custody users in Stoke Newington, Hackney and Shoreditch Police Stations.
Last week or so involved in maintaining ability to practice – appraisal, CPR update; teaching MSc and DFMS courses on examination of detainees and role of forensic physician; trials – doctor accused of sexual assault – rape case – GBH; meeting to discuss mediation and future stratefy; telecon on new book – Monitoring Detainees in Custody with publishers and co-editors Duarte Nuno Vieira and Joe Beynon; on call as FME for Met Police; travel to Toronto for 24 hours for Expert Panel on Conducted Energy Weapons. Returning to a week including mediation observation; endoscopy list; three court cases – attempt murder, GBH with intent and child neglect. Next weekend meeting with Roger Byard to begin planning Encyclopedia of Forensic and Legal Medicine (second edition).
After a disrupted November, December from racing a boat across the Atlantic, January will be busier than usual – currently a mixture of court cases for Crown and defence, inquests, editing chapters for books, writing chapters for books, on-call for Metropolitan Police Service, new opinions for cases, CPR annual update and attempts to re-orientate timetable. Gastroscopy lists twice.