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Press Release

Pioneering medical imaging autopsy service in Leicester shortlisted for leading industry award
Press release date10/09/2018
Leicester’s Hospitals, in conjunction with Leicester City Council and Her Majesty’s (HM) Senior Coroner for Leicester City and South Leicestershire, have been shortlisted for a Health Service Journal (HSJ) award for their new approach to post-mortems examinations.
Press release

The HSJ Awards give the industry the opportunity to celebrate, recognise and reward the contribution of NHS staff and organisations from across the country.

Working in partnership, the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL) departments of Radiology and Pathology and HM Coroner for Leicester City and South Leicestershire, have been shortlisted in the category for Improved Partnerships between Health and Local Government for their new approach to replacing adult invasive autopsies with post mortem computed tomography (PMCT) scans.

The service is based on 15 years of research undertaken by UHL and the University of Leicester.  Techniques have been developed to enable PMCT to replace autopsy in many non-suspicious deaths.  It also builds on experience gained running a PMCT service launched in 2015 which required independent funding from families. Starting in November 2017, following discussions with Leicester City Council and HM Senior Coroner for Leicester City and South Leicestershire, the new approach is now standard practice and is unique to Leicester.  It enables the pathologists to decide on the most suitable type of investigation for each individual.  The least invasive approach, including using PMCT instead of traditional post mortem, is taken whenever possible, at no cost to the bereaved families and without impact on clinical services. 

The service, and the research on which it was founded, were established in response to the wishes of the community. Death of a loved one is difficult, but many are further upset by finding their loved one have had an invasive autopsy. HM Coroner’s officers report the relief in the family’s voices on being told their loved one had a PMCT scan and on occasion the next of kin being reduced to tears. Local Undertakers have found the service makes a huge difference to their families. The feedback received by HM Coroner on the new service has been very positive.

Cathy Lea, Radiology General Manager at Leicester’s Hospital, said “We are proud to be able to provide the PMCT service for the local community and are delighted to be shortlisted for this award as our efforts are being recognised at a national level”.

The next steps for the team will be presenting the project to the panel of judges. Representatives of the team will then be attending the awards night in November in London, where hopefully they will be crowned winners of their category.

Contact information:
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For more information on the HSJ Awards 2018: https://awards.hsj.co.uk/

For further information at Leicester’s Hospitals, please contact:

Jake Toon, Communications Officer
0116 258 8715
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