Auckland DHB’s Department of Forensic Pathology is being reviewed. There is no specific concern about the quality of the clinical service in respect of the standard of autopsy reporting.
Auckland DHB regularly reviews its services to ensure they are maintaining their delivery of excellent clinical quality and as a way to continuously improve the operation of the service.
A multi-stakeholder review group comprising external pathologists, police, lay members and Maori representatives will undertake an extensive review of the service. The review will be underway shortly.
The terms of reference are to review, consider and recommend the ideal service delivery model of Auckland DHB’s Forensic Pathology Service and the National Forensic Pathology Service, in terms of long-term governance and operational strategy to meet the need for a possible unified national forensic and coronial pathology service.
The National Forensic Pathology Service provides a national 24/7 forensic pathology service to police, coroners and the community. Auckland DHB provides the service via a contract with Ministry of Justice.
Auckland DHB’s Forensic Pathology Service operates a mortuary in Auckland and forensic pathology services for the Coroner in Auckland, Palmerston North and Wellington and Christchurch.
The Department of Forensic Pathology provides coronial and non-coronial adult, perinatal and paediatric pathology service to the wider Auckland region. It carries out approximately 860 coronial post mortems a year (adult and paediatric). Of these post-mortems between 100 and 110 are homicides or suspicious deaths.
The Department of Forensic Pathology also houses the National Forensic Pathology Service delivered under contract to the Ministry of Justice.
The National Forensic Pathology Service provides a national 24/7 forensic pathology service to police, coroners and the community. Auckland DHB employs directly or through part time contract, eight full time forensic pathologists based in Auckland, Palmerston North, Wellington and Christchurch. The National Forensic Pathology Service conducts about 3000 post mortems a year. Between 170 and 190 of the 1600 post mortems conducted are associated with homicides or suspicious death. The National Forensic Pathology Service has operated since July 2005.
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