§ The Minister for Policing, Crime Reduction and Community Safety (Mr. John Denham)
I commissioned an independent review into the provision of forensic pathology services and have accepted the key recommendations of that independent review. There is clearly a need to establish a unified forensic pathology service to deliver the needs of the police service, coroners and the wider criminal justice system.
The Government intend to:enable a standard high quality service to be offered across England and Wales;ensure availability of service by providing the framework of a career structure to retain existing practitioners and to attract new entrants to the field;facilitate the provision of specialist regional service delivery centres;introduce improved management and budgetary controls for the provision of forensic pathology services.
I have instructed my officials to implement the key recommendations of the review as quickly as possible, with the intention that:
by autumn 2003, we will:35WSmove to new accreditation and disciplinary procedures based on model competencies; andhave two centres prepared to deliver a training programme against the improved standards.
by summer 2004, we will aim to have:more newly trained, and operational forensic pathologists;an agreed career structure for the future national forensic pathology service; anddeveloped contracts of employment.
I will continue to take a close interest in progress and will receive regular reports on progress from the Programme Delivery Board established to take this work forward. The delivery board will include representatives of both users and providers of forensic pathology services.
A copy of the review has been placed in the Library.