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Audit of necropsy reporting in East Anglia.
  1. J O Williams,
  2. M J Goddard,
  3. G A Gresham,
  4. B A Wyatt
  1. East Anglia Regional Clinical Audit Team, Clinical School, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK.


    AIMS: To establish criteria for the information to be included in a necropsy report, and to improve the quality of necropsy reporting in the Anglia Region. METHODS: Discussion between Anglia histopathologists, based on the guidelines of the Royal College of Pathologists, led to a consensus about the ideal content of a necropsy report. Fifteen consecutive necropsies subsequently undertaken by each consultant were assessed against agreed standards. Reaudit was undertaken nearly two years later, without prior announcement. RESULTS: The initial standards achieved for demographic details (70%), history (87%), external examination (43-97%), internal examination (76-95%), organ weights (73%), cause of death in OPCS format (94%), and conclusion (90%) were discussed by the group. Changes to necropsy reporting documentation were proposed. Reaudit showed improvement in nearly all categories. CONCLUSIONS: Necropsy reporting in East Anglia is currently carried out to a reasonably high standard, and improvements have occurred as a result of the audit. There was no evidence that reports on coroners' necropsies were of a lower standard than those done for the hospital. Improvement in the format of the documentation increases the likelihood that all relevant and important data are recorded.

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