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Birmingham gets new deal on digital autopsy scanner

Published: Wednesday, 24th July 2019

Birmingham City Council has announced that it has successfully negotiated a deal that will provide the city with access to a Computed Tomography Post Mortems (CTPM) scanner on a trial basis.

The scanner, located in Sandwell and owned by iGene, will provide the Coroner’s Office with access to a non-invasive scanner that will assist with autopsies.

While access to this service was previously available, it was at a cost of over £600 per scan and therefore rarely used by the authority. The new deal which, will be in place over the next 12 months, will see this cost reduced to £238 and can now be utilised to support with cases involving trauma such as suicides or road traffic accidents.

Cllr Sharon Thompson, cabinet member for homes and neighbourhoods said, “This agreement is just one of the steps being made to transform our approach to bereavement services.

“Not only will the CTPM scanner provide a vital extra tool to the Coroner’s office but; we’ve had many requests from bereaved families who would rather see this option used instead of an invasive post mortem being carried out.

“When a family is faced with these decisions, it’s a stressful and hugely emotional time. I’m pleased to say that members of the public will now be able to put requests to our coroner for the use of CTPM at a much more realistic and affordable cost.”

Louise Hunt, coroner for Birmingham and Solihull said, “It’s fantastic that we will be able to trial the use of the CTPM here in Birmingham. Research has shown that where a death has been traumatic, CTPM is the most effective method for helping us to establish a cause of death. We hope to see some positive results from the trial which will lead to further discussions to extend the project.”

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