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Reversing the slow death of the clinical necropsy: developing the post of the Pathology Liaison Nurse
  1. Eileen Limacher (eileen.limacher{at}nnuh.nhs.uk)
  1. Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, United Kingdom
    1. Urszula Carr (rmrub{at}doctors.org.uk)
    1. Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, United Kingdom
      1. Lesley Bowker (lesley.bowker{at}nnuh.nhs.uk)
      1. Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, United Kingdom
        1. Richard Y Ball (richard.ball{at}nnuh.nhs.uk)
        1. Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, United Kingdom

          Abstract

          Introduction: The adult clinical necropsy has been declining for many years and is nearing extinction in many hospitals. In Norwich, we wished to prevent this from occurring. This paper describes how the role of Pathology Liaison Nurse (PLN) was established and evaluated, and gives details ofthe current state of the adult clinical necropsy in Norwich.

          Results: Following the appointment of the PLN, we have achieved a modest reversal of the trend. In 2005, the number of adult clinical necropsies increased to 58 (clinical necropsy rate = 2.4%) from its nadir of 34 (clinical necropsy rate = 1.4%) in 2003. Moreover, consent now is much more likely to be full and to allow histopathological and other studies.

          Discussion: The PLN ensures that consent is properly and fully obtained, in line with current legislation. She also plays important roles in arranging for feedback to be given by clinicians to the families after the examination and in teaching and training Trust staff about death, bereavement, and related matters.

          • clinical necropsy
          • decline
          • pathology liaison nurse
          • rate

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