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Pathology: Vacancies

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 256258, tabled on 20 May 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to tackle the shortage of pathologists that can carry out post-mortem examinations for coroners.

Answered on

23 May 2019

Most post-mortem examinations are carried out by pathologists who specialise in histopathology. However, post-mortems are not a requirement of the Certificate of Completion of Training in histopathology, therefore, the number of histopathologists who are qualified to carry out post-mortem examinations for coroners is not held centrally.

Overall, in January 2019, there were 1,206 full time equivalent (FTE) consultant histopathologists in the National Health Service in England. This represents a 10% (119 FTE) increase compared to January 2010.

Health Education England has committed to attract and retain more histopathologists by 2021 as part of its Cancer Workforce Plan for England published in December 2017. In 2019, 100% of specialist histopathology training places were filled.

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