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National Pathology plaudit for Paul

04 December 2017

Health Care

Paul Abrahams, an Anatomical Pathology Technologist (APT) working in the Mortuary at Southend University Hospital, has been awarded the Heggie Award by the Royal Society of Public Health.

This prestigious national award is given to the candidate attaining the highest marks in the Annual Examinations set by Royal Society of Public Health for their Level 3 Diploma in Anatomical Pathology Technology. Paul sat these in September 2016 and received the award at his recent graduation ceremony in London.

Paul said: "This is the first time the award has been won by the hospital and it's a good thing for myself and my peers. I'm immensely proud to have won this for the Trust's Mortuary department, an area that often goes unnoticed. It helps show how dedicated staff are in our area and how we continue to provide the best service we can to patients and their relatives."

The qualification recognises the unique role performed by APTs as part of the Life Science workforce, specifically their place of work being a mortuary rather than a laboratory and their need to interact with bereaved members of the public.

Paul completed 10 modules in total, including five theory modules which were undertaken at North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust as part of the mortuary training centre. He also completed five practical modules relating to care of the deceased in areas such as preparing the deceased for visiting by loved ones, assistance at post mortem examination and preparation and operation of a mortuary.

One of Paul's mentors at Southend University Hospital was Consultant Histopathologist Dr Simon Payne. Dr Payne said: "From first hand, I can vouch that Paul applies his newly acquired knowledge to our working situation - along with other members of the team he provides excellent assistance to us as we conduct autopsies. Paul is also particularly sensitive and considerate in his dealings with relatives at the time of their distress. It is no surprise to me that he has done so well."


Image:l-r Professor Carol Wallace, Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health, and Paul Abrahams.

Paul Abrahams in the Chapel of Rest at Southend Hospital

Notes to editor

The award is named after Dr James Heggie, an eminent pathologist who insisted and even petitioned government in the 1950s and 60s to have appropriately and adequately trained staff assisting during the post mortem examination procedure and caring for patients and the bereaved in the mortuary environment.