Is normally a time when diaries are very full as people try to get work out of the way for the New Year.  Much focus currently on the imminent transfer of police custodial healthcare services from police services to NHS England in April.  Concerns raised by assorted groups as to whether there is an awareness of the problems  faced at a clinical level. The Faculty of Forensic & Legal Medicine and its clinical partners, the United Kingdom Association of Forensic Nurses and Paramedics and the College of Paramedics have met with, amongst others representatives from the Department of Health and Home Office to identify these issues.  The Department of Health requested specific examples of poor or unsafe practice and these have now been supplied.  For those of us who have been recently involved in government processes it’s all a pretty depressing eye-opener.  It’s really important that any doctor, nurse or paramedic working in police custodial medicine be aware of the planned changes and how they may affect your day to day work.

The Faculty of Forensic & Legal Medicine is now well-established in its new offices Aldgate, East London, with the whole team now settled in and utilising new systems such as WebEx which are simplifying meetings and reducing costs. The new website has just been launched and will simplify a lot of the administrative workload freeing time for other essential workstreams.  A new series of webinars are currently planned further to the webinar series already available from the website.  The first series is now viewable online.  These are a great way of achieving clinically relevant CPD for all healthcare professionals working in custodial settings.

Writing projects move forward slowly.  Patrick Chariot and Steffen Heide are putting together a special issue  of the Journal of Forensic & Legal Medicine on police custodial healthcare for next year – I’ve contributed an article on consent and confidentiality (just met the deadline). Current Practice in Forensic Medicine (2nd volume) is now well into production. We have now got the 1st draft of the 14th edition of Simpson’s Forensic Medicine underway and that is expected to be published early 2017.

Have provided evidence in a number of recent cases from a variety of settings including complaints against doctorshomicideuncertain cause of death, police disciplinary issuestiming of injuries.

Forensic Healthcare Services Ltd (FHC For Law & Mediation) were delighted to be runners-up in the annual Eclipse Personal Injury Awards at the Grange Hotel, St Paul’s London,  hosted by the excellent Stephen K Amos, against a very strong field. An immense achievement for a small firm.

Personally a time of great sadness, not least because of the death of my 94 year old mother Angela,  who would have been very proud of the contribution of each of her grandchildren – ranging from  7 – 29 years at her funeral. A remarkable, much loved woman.

Was delighted to be elected as a Founding Fellow of the Faculty of Clinical Forensic Medicine of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia. As President of the FFLM and personally I wish this new Faculty huge success.

Season’s Greetings to all.