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Publication - Advice and Guidance

Training for examiners of victims of rape and sexual assault

The current NHS Education Scotland (NES) provision of education and training for Forensic Medical Examiners.

The current NES provision of education and training for Forensic Medical Examiners consists of:

An Introduction to Forensic Medicine Examination course

This focuses on general forensic and custodial issues, with a small element related to sexual assault. The last course was in 2015.

A (two- yearly) Up-date Conference for Forensic Medical Examiners

Focuses largely on general forensic and custodial issues. The most recent one ran in June 2016.

Essentials in Sexual Offences Examination and Clinical Management (Adults and Adolescents) – Best Practice for Scotland'

This is an annual Essentials in Sexual Offences Management & Court Skills course which involves two training days on sexual assault followed by a third day on court skills. The most recent course ran in March 2017.

All these courses are accredited by the Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine (FFLM).

The provision of forensic medical services is not considered a specialism by the General Medical Council. There is an application to the GMC by the Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine to have the provision of forensic medical services recognised as a specialism.

The Scottish Government is committed to ensure that victims of sexual offences can choose the gender of their forensic examiner.

In partnership with NHS Education Scotland (NES), we want to understand why there are so few female doctors who work in this area. In March 2017, HMICS reported there are around 81 forensic physicians in Scotland, about 63 of whom are involved in forensic medical examinations for sexual crime. Only 19 of these forensic physicians are female. 9 doctors based at Glasgow at Archway's facilities are women.

A survey issued by NES, in partnership with Scottish Government, in February 2017 to doctors in training had 819 responses. 55% of the female respondents said they would 'in principle' be interested to provide forensic medical examinations.

Following the survey, Scottish Government announced £76,000 funding to NHS Education Scotland to:

  • support special training for up to 50 doctors,
  • redesigning accredited training for doctors and nursing staff to make it more portable for remote locations, and
  • the creation of a clinical position to mentor trainees and look at how more women can be recruited and how the training is promoted.
Published:
17 Aug 2017
Training for examiners of victims of rape and sexual assault