Forensic Nurse pilot at the St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre

January 19, 2000

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The St. Mary’s forensic nursing pilot was conducted as part of the Linked National Evaluation of Sexual Assault Referral Centres project (See below).

St. Mary’s is one of seven Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) in England. This pilot project was the first of its kind in the U.K.

The pilot aimed to explore the potential of forensic nursing in the immediate response to reported rape and sexual assault. The project involved training a nurse, who was also a current member of the St. Mary’s team, to conduct forensic examinations. The nurse was supervised and mentored by the Clinical Director of St. Mary’s and always had access to experienced medical personnel. She was expected to;

  • conduct examinations;
  • collect and record findings;
  • prepare statements for court when requested by the police/CPS and give evidence in court if necessary.

The aim of the project was to establish if the forensic nursing would be successful in;

  • reducing waiting times;
  • improving the service from the viewpoint of service users;
  • improving consistency in recording findings i.e. consistency between forensic evidence and forensic doctors findings.

See Development and Practice Report: Forensic Nursing: an option for improving responses to reported rape and sexual assault

Grant Holder: CWASU

Sponsor: Home Office Crime Reduction Programme

  • Project Team:
    Jo Lovett, Linda Regan, Liz Kelly