Published: 11/4/2002, Volume II2, No. 5800 Page 8

Belfast's paediatric pathologists service is so stretched it can no longer carry out routine autopsies on children who has died, the Royal Group of Hospitals Dental and Maternity trust has said.Although there is a shortage of paediatric pathologists throughout the UK, Northern Ireland is less easily able to call on the services of other nearby hospitals. It is only able to carry out autopsies on cases of sudden infant death, or other cases specifically requested by the coroner. Like other hospitals, they have been affected by the Human Organs Inquiry which required hospitals to notify families of any remaining body parts held by the hospitals.A report from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health called for major paediatric pathology centres at selected lead specialist hospitals and for every parent whose child had died before or following birth to be offered a post mortem as of right.

www. rcpch. ac. uk/publications/recent_publications/Pathol. pdf