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Overview of the role

Gathering evidence through forensic sampling, toxicology, documentation of injuries and provision of a statement to support the criminal justice system.

Reference Number: ST0788

Details of standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) and within pathways for sexual violence services and within Police custodial settings.

The broad purpose of the occupation is:

The unique element to this role is to provide evidence for the police, understanding the ethical frameworks in which healthcare in the criminal justice system considers ensuring complex decision making takes into account the individuals rights, our professional bodies standards and also respects that there is a public interest and a right to justice. Uniquely, the role of a forensic practitioner includes evidence gathering through forensic sampling, toxicology, documentation of injuries and provision of a statement to support the criminal justice system. This is required to be impartial and objective.

In both environments, a forensic practitioner works as an autonomous individual undertaking triage, assessment and care/management plan formation which meets the needs of the criminal justice system, healthcare and safeguarding. They would lead and manage a medical emergency, teach and supervise others including junior members of staff and training of wider professional team

In sexual offence, the client is completely different to our police custody settings. the practitioner provides crisis intervention and empowerment of those who have been subject to sexual violence. This includes trauma informed assessment of acute healthcare needs primarily around sexual health and avoidance of pregnancy, mental health and emotional distress, drugs and alcohol, safeguarding and wider vulnerability and ongoing care. This leads to a unique care plan for each individual. The core element of the senior sexual offence examiner will be to provide clients with choices on routes to report crimes or to be a 'self referral' pathway. In addition, the role will be to provide expert opinion on the interpretation of injuries and other key areas for juries to understand the evidence base underpinning sexual assault. They would also formulate a management plan prior to release or discharge of clients.

In custody, the client group is those who are under arrest so the forensic practitioner supports the welfare of detainees whilst in custody. These include physical assessment of acute and chronic health needs, mental health and emotional distress, drugs and alcohol dependency, safeguarding and wider vulnerability and ongoing care. Part of the role is also to ascertain fitness to interview and detain and ensure the human rights and needs of the individual are managed in custody setting where complex needs are common place. They are also required to undertake wider skills in assessment of victims, officers, road traffic procedures, intimate searches and taser/restraint sequelae. 

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with police, independent sexual violence advisors, crisis workers, sexual health services, mental health, substance misuse, acute trusts namely ED, legal teams including CPS, GPs, social workers, third sector organisations, safeguarding roles, court staff, detention staff (who may be a private provider), liaison and diversion teams, mental health, substance misuse, acute trusts namely ED, legal teams including CPS, GPs, social workers, ambulance trusts and court transfer teams, 'appropriate adult' services, language line, lay visitors, IPCC, HMIC, probation and YOTS.

The custody role is carried out in police custody however practitioners do travel to other venues such as hospitals and court.

In sexual violence, this role is carried out in the SARCs however practitioners do travel to other venues such as prisons, care homes, hospitals. alleged victims home and court..

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for:

This person is an autonomous practitioner who has responsibility for the health and well being of individuals who are within the criminal justice system.. They undertake decisions related to the fitness to be processed through the criminal justice system, forensic examination, mapping injuries and the collection and storage of forensic samples for court and attend court to give evidence.They work as the lead professional supporting a team, with access to senior advice through remote contact with a senior practitioner. Alongside this role, they make autonomous decision regarding the health and wider social needs of the person. They would report to a line manager, either a clinical lead role or SARC Manager.

Typical job titles

Typical job titles include sexual offence examiner, forensic nurse practitioner, sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE), forensic medical examiner, forensic physician, Forensic Nurse Examiner, Healthcare Professional, Forensic Practitioner, Forensic Nurse, Forensic Paramedic.

Entry requirements

Must be a Registered Nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council or a Registered Paramedic with the Healthcare Professionals Council.

Core occupation duties

Duty

KSBs

Duty 1 Lead and manage a medical emergency.

K1 K2 K5

S1 S2 S15 S27

B1 B5 B7 B8

Duty 2 Assess and identify risks related to safeguarding and vulnerability in patients and be able to signpost, refer and identify appropriate interventions for each area.

K3 K4 K5 K15 K16 K19 K20 K23 K27 K28

S3 S12 S13 S14 S15 S19 S20 S26 S29

B1 B3 B4 B5 B7 B8

Duty 3 Identify a forensic strategy and undertake an assessment including; collection and storage of forensic samples, toxicology, documentation of injuries and other relevant evidential outcomes, with a robust chain of evidence.

K5 K6 K7 K8 K12 K28

S4 S5 S6 S7 S12 S13 S23 S33

B1 B7 B8 B9

Duty 4 Review and analyse the evidence base of key finds and provide written and oral evidence for court.

K9 K10 K11 K12 K27

S7 S8 S9 S10 S19 S20

B2 B3 B5 B6 B9

Duty 5 Comply with local and national governance processes to ensure the safety of the client such as audit, clinical incident reporting and quality improvement.

K13 K14 K15 K17 K18 K25

S11 S18

B4 B5 B6

Duty 6 Obtain valid consent from client and manage those individuals who lack capacity to consent and ensure confidentiality and public disclosure framework are met

K5 K14 K16 K19

S12 S13 S14 S15

B1

Duty 7 Work collaboratively with multiple agencies to ensure safe and effective care of client by effective care plans, referrals and signposting

K4 K5 K16 K19 K20 K21 K22 K23 K24 K26 K29

S12 S13 S14 S15 S30

B1 B7

Duty 8 Teach and supervise others including junior members of staff and training of the wider professional team

K17 K18

S16 S17 S18 S19 S20

B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 9 Due to the impact of bias within the criminal justice system be able to review their practice to remain impartial and objective.

K6 K7 K12 K13 K19 K20 K27

S4 S8 S9 S10 S19 S20

B1 B3 B5 B6

Duty 10 Assess an individual and identify acute and chronic mental health conditions and be able to undertake a suicide\self-harm risk assessment and formulate a management plan prior to release or discharge.

K16 K19 K20 K21 K22 K23 K25 K26 K28

S13 S14 S15 S18 S19 S21 S22 S25 S26 S27 S28 S29

B1 B7 B8

Duty 11 Follow robust processes for cross contamination of evidence

K6 K8 K28

S4 S7 S23 S33

B3 B4 B5 B7 B9

 

 

Option duties

 Custody Care

Duty

KSBs

Duty 12: Assess and identify acute and chronic conditions of individuals whilst in custody including fitness to release.



K16 K23 K25 K26

S15 S21 S25 S27 S28 S29

B1 B7 B8

Duty 13: Assess an individual for their fitness to interview and charge and identify if an appropriate adult or additional medical needs are required.


K12 K14 K27 K28

S13 S28 S29 S31 S32 S33

B1 B3 B4 B7 B9

Duty 14: Assess, treat and refer those who are dependent on drugs alcohol  including management of symptoms of withdrawal, brief interventions and referrals to ongoing services and harm reductions strategies.

K2 K23 K25 K29

S2 S15 S25 S30

B1 B7 B8

Duty 15: Undertake wider skills in assessment of victims, officers, road traffic procedures, intimate searches and taser/restraint sequelae.



K6 K7 K8 K12 K28

S3 S4 S5 S7 S12 S13 S14 S31 S32 S33

B1 B3 B4 B6 B7 B8 B9

 Sexual Offence 

Duty

KSBs

Duty 16: Identify pathways of care for both acute and non recent sexual  abuse, domestic violence and wider needs individuals and empower them to choose the pathway which best fits their needs.

K3 K4 K5 K14 K15 K16 K19 K20 K23 K24 K25 K28

S3 S13 S14 S15 S18 S19 S20 S24 S25 S26

B1 B3 B4 B7

Duty 17: Assess, treat and refer individuals for identified sexual health needs including risk of pregnancy and risk of sexually acquired infections.

K23 K24 K25 K26

S15 S24 S25 S27

B1 B7 B8

Duty 18: Identify trauma in individuals and use empowering and re framing techniques to improve the  experience of individuals.

K21 K23 K28

S19 S20 S21 S26 S27

B1 B5

KSBs

Knowledge

K1: Understand the Resuscitation Council standards for resuscitation.

K2: Identify the National Institute of Clinical Excellence guidance for management of medical emergencies.

K3: Understand the Sexual Offences Act and pathways related to disclosure.

K4: Identify the risk factors in sexual violence, domestic violence, child sexual abuse and wider vulnerability.

K5: Understands the legislative and professional frameworks for consent, confidentiality, best interest decisions, public disclosure and sharing information lawfully.

K6: Understand the principles of forensic science, locards principle and sample collection techniques.

K7: Identify the different injury types and understand their significance as evidence.

K8: Identify the forensic regulator guidelines and their relevance to practice.

K9: Understand the principles of good statement construction.

K10: Understand courtroom etiquette.

K11: Understand the difference between a witness of fact and an expert witness.

K12: Understand the importance of unconscious bias in the criminal justice system and the need for objectivity.

K13: Understand the principles of organisational learning and quality improvement.

K14: Understand the  professional bodies framework for governance.

K15: Understands the evidence base related to improving outcomes in the health and justice setting.

K16: Understands the professional bodies requirement for ensuring continuity of care and the lessons learned from not having effective handovers and ongoing care.

K17: Understands coaching and mentoring strategies including management of poor performance.

K18: Understands how feedback can improve training delivery.

K19: Understand how shame, stigma, discrimination and prejudice can impact those in the criminal justice setting.

K20: Understand trauma informed care and the impact on individuals who experience trauma and identify strategies to support recovery.

K21: Identify the symptoms of common mental health disorders and the evidence based management plan.

K22: Understands the evidence base related to undertaking a risk assessment for suicidal ideation and self harm thoughts.

K23: Aware of the resources available for ongoing care including: acute symptoms, health promotion including sexual health, advocacy, mental health and emotional distress, alcohol and substance misuse and wider needs.

K24: Understands the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV and Faculty of Reproductive and Sexual Health guidelines and the evidence base underpinning sexual health.

K25: Describe the local medicines management processes of their organisation.

K26: Understands the relevant guidelines for acute and chronic healthcare ie National Institute of Clinical Evidence and the evidence base underpinning the management plan.

K27: Understands how interviews can be vulnerable and common miscarriages of justice related to false confessions.

K28: Understands Police and Criminal Evidence Act, Approved Police Practice and safety measures in a police custody.

K29: Understands the evidence base underpinning drug and alcohol dependency including National Institute of Clinical Excellence and Royal College of General Practice resources.

Skills

S1 Resuscitate a person who is unconscious.

S2 Manage an acute medical symptoms such as shortness of breath, seizures & chest pain.

S3 Assess the patient and identify if there is acute or non recent sexual abuse, domestic violence and wider vulnerability needs utilising appropriate risk assessment tools where appropriate.

S4 Identify a forensic strategy which includes consideration of account, cross contamination and evidence base.

S5 Take evidential samples competently including skin swabs, intimate samples, toxicology and others.

S6 Document injuries accurately including use of camera systems where appropriate.

S7 Prepare an exhibit list and ensure chain of evidence process it completed.

S8 Construct a written statement for court.

S9 Give oral evidence in court.

S10 Critically appraise and write objectively.

S11 Undertake governance processes such as audit, clinical incident reporting, feedback and to follow policy and processes especially related to infection control, medicines management and health and safety.

S12 Obtain valid consent and record it effectively.

S13 Undertake an assessment of capacity and document the outcome including best interests decisions.

S14 Decide how to manage confidentiality in a forensic environment.

S15 Ensure continuity of care of patients by effective care plans, referrals and signposting,

S16 Teach and supervise others including the wider professional team.

S17 Recognise the needs of those who are poorly performing and identify an appropriate performance plan for improvement.

S18 Effectively communication within a criminal justice setting.

S19 Identify your personal belief systems.

S20 Participate in clinical supervision.

S21 Assess an individual and identify acute and chronic mental health conditions.

S22 Undertake a suicide\self-harm risk assessment.

S23 Clean the room in preparation for a forensic examination.

S24 Assess, treat and refer for identified sexual health needs including risk of pregnancy and risk of sexually acquired infections.

S25 Administer and dispense medication safely, following their local processes regarding safety and medicines.

S26 Effectively communicate  to patients who have been exposed to sexual violence.

S27 Assess, treat and refer for acute and chronic health conditions.

S28 Assess an individual for fitness to detain and identify management plan including observations where there is an additional medical need.

S29 Assess an individual for fitness to interview and charge and identify if an appropriate adult is required and interview strategies where there is an additional medical. need

S30 Assess, treat and refer those who are dependent on drugs alcohol including management of symptoms of withdrawal, brief interventions and referrals to ongoing services and harm reductions strategies including demonstrating the use of approved assessment tools in this setting.

S31 Identify de-escalation techniques and have knowledge of restraint, taser and other sequlae.

S32 Undertake a field impairment test and other road traffic procedures.

S33 Apply forensic principles to managing other scenarios.

Behaviour

B1: Empower decision making, respecting individual's diversity, beliefs, culture, needs, values, privacy and preferences.

B2: To be professional and confident with presentation of knowledge to court.

B3: Honesty and trust ensuring a high standard of professional integrity.

B4: Courage to challenge areas of concern.

B5: Reflective and open to feedback both positive and negative.

B6: Exhibit resilience, self-awareness and demonstrate the ability to change.

B7: Work collaboratively with multiple agencies to ensure safe and effective care in ways that respect professional differences.

B8: Undertake a confident assessment with knowledge and show respect and empathy.

B9: Shows attention to detail, accuracy and precision.

Qualifications

English and Maths qualifications

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment.  For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL. 

Additional details

Occupational Level: 7
Duration (months): 12

Review

This standard will be reviewed after three years.


Crown copyright © 2019. You may re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. Visit www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 7
Degree: non-degree qualification
Reference: ST0788
Version: 1
Date updated: 19/07/2019
Approved for delivery: 19 July 2019
Route: Health and science
Typical duration: 12 months
Maximum funding: £4000
Options: Custody Care, Sexual Offence
Trailblazer contact(s): vanessa.webb2@nhs.net
Employers involved in creating the standard: Mountain Healthcare Limited, Northamptonshire Foundation Trust, Mitie: Care & Justice, CRG Medical Services, Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust, Survivors In Transition, G4S, Kent Police Force, Dorset Healthcare NHS University Foundation Trust, Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust, St Marys SARC, Havens SARC, Lime Culture, Forensic Regulator, UKAFN, FFLM, NHS England, Staffordshire University, Teeside University

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Version log

Version Date updated Change Previous version
1 19/07/2019 Assessment plan and funding band published. Approved for delivery

Not available

1 13/02/2019 Standard first published

Not available