Pathology Service

Map of East Midlands

The East Midlands Forensic Pathology Unit, also known as the ‘EMFPU’, is a Home Office recognised Group Practice. The principal types of work undertaken by the Unit members includes;

  • It assists the eight coroner’s jurisdictions of the East Midlands in providing a 24-hour service, 365 days a year suspicious and homicide forensic pathology service for the five East Midlands police forces (Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire and Derbyshire).
  • Autopsy examinations where a pathologist independent to the NHS Trust were a death has occurred or where a death involves non-suspicious trauma are also undertaken.
  • The EMFPU assists Leicester Police’s Serious Collision Unit by investigating all road related fatalities for HM Coroners of Leicestershire.
  • The Unit members undertake injury opinion work to police forces, courts and solicitors throughout England and Wales.
  • So-Called ‘defence autopsies’ are undertaken by members of the EMFPU
    Local services.


  • Mr T Kirkman,  HM Senior Coroner for North Leicestershire & Rutland
  • Dr R Hunter,  HM Senior Coroner for Derbyshire
  • Dr R Hunter, HM Senior Coroner for The Hundred of Scarsdale & High Peak
  • Mrs A Pember, HM Senior Coroner for Northamptonshire & Kettering
  • Mr SPG Fisher, HM Senior Coroner for Central Lincolnshire


The principle mortuary for the EMFPU is based at the Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI). There is a dedicated forensic mortuary at this site which is equipped with specialist equipment for the investigation of suspicious and homicide deaths to maximise evidence recovery but minimise evidence contamination. The Unit also undertakes work at other mortuaries across the East Midlands region.

Forensic toxicology

The forensic toxicology service was established by Professor Rutty in 2001. It is based within the NHS Clinical Chemistry and Toxicology Department at the LRI. Approximately 5,000 forensic toxicology examinations have been undertaken by the service since its conception.

Forensic engineering

The forensic engineering service was established by Professor Rutty in conjunction with Dr Sarah Hainsworth, University of Leicester. Today it has a national reputation for the examination of weapon/tool marks on bones (knives and saw marks) as well as the consideration of the stabbing qualities of weapons.

Forensic imaging

The forensic imaging service was established by Professor Rutty in conjunction with the Imaging Unit at the LRI. Today it is the lead Unit in the UK for the use of multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT) in forensic investigations and a principal research Unit with an international reputation. Wherever possible all suspicious deaths and homicides are imaged by the service prior to autopsy examination. The Unit is also involved in the development of scan, view and grant as an alternative to autopsy examination.

Regional service

The Unit is responsible for the provision of a mass fatality service to the East Midlands coroners. Professor Rutty sits on the local and regional resilience committees for mass incident and fatality planning. They assist with the writing of local and regional mass fatality plans and the provision of the temporary mortuaries.

National service

The members of the Unit are part of the UK-DVI response team.

International service

The Unit members assist internationally, for example with the provision of a forensic pathology service to the coroner of the Falkland Islands and Territorial Waters (Falkland, St Georgia and British Antarctica). They provide assistance for international mass fatality response.

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East Midlands Forensic Pathology Unit
Level 3, Robert Kilpatrick Clinical Sciences Building
Leicester Royal Infirmary
Leicester, LE2 7LX
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 3221
Fax: +44 (0)116 252 3274

General enquiries 


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