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The Role of the Healthcare Professional

Healthcare Professionals (HCPs) provide medical care and, when required, forensic assessment of detainees/suspects in police custody, complainants/complainers of crime, police officers/police personnel injured in the course of their work.

They may also attend scenes of death to pronounce life extinct and give an opinion on whether there are any suspicious circumstances. This work is referred to as Clinical Forensic Medicine (CFM) and embraces police custodial healthcare (General Forensic Medicine (GFM) and Sexual Offence Medicine (SOM).

HCPs may be required to provide interpretation of their findings to the police, solicitors, courts and sometimes to social services verbally and in writing. Written statements for court and other tribunals and presentation of oral evidence in court may be required for these cases.

HCPs from different disciplines may utilise a variety of different titles, for example:

  • Doctors: forensic physician, forensic medical examiner, forensic medical officer
  • Nurses: custody nurse practitioner, forensic nurse practitioner
  • Paramedics: custody paramedic, forensic paramedic