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Royal London Hospital doctor invents software that could bring violent criminals to justice quicker

PUBLISHED: 14:20 07 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:19 07 June 2019

Barts Health NHS Trust accident and emergency consultant Dr Johann Grundlingh. Picture: Robin Goodlad Photography.

Barts Health NHS Trust accident and emergency consultant Dr Johann Grundlingh. Picture: Robin Goodlad Photography.

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A doctor at the Royal London Hospital has created software that speeds up the time it takes police to collect crucial medical evidence for crime investigations.

Dr Johann Grundlingh is the brains behind 'Streamlined Forensic Reporting Medical' which has reduced the average waiting time for police to obtain medical evidence from a hospital from around three months to just two days.

The medic, who works as an accident and emergency consultant, hopes the software will increase the number of offenders who are brought to justice and reduce "highly preventable" deaths and injuries, particularly from revenge attacks, by ensuring information is received more quickly.

The software provides a simple, web-based portal through which police and medics can securely and efficiently request and transfer medical records.

Dr Grundlingh decided to devise the software after witnessing the difficulties police face in quickly obtaining crucial evidence such as medical records.

Dr Grundlingh said: "While the service itself doesn't immediately seem to affect that, what we are seeing is police who have evidence quickly can then make charging decisions quickly, which then affects whether someone is charged and bailed."

The medic was awarded £350,000 in funding from Innovate UK, to fund further work with the software which is being tested by the Met, City of London and Surrey police services.

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"The feedback from police, courts, doctors and everyone involved in the chain has been extremely positive," Dr Grundlingh said.

"This can have a significant impact, and already has."

Adding that he wants to speed up the process so crucial evidence can be obtained within a day, he said. "We're pushing to make it better.

"If someone is arrested, police can only keep them for 24 hours, so they have 24 hours to make a decision about charging."

"If they don't have the information they need, it's hard to make that decision."

Dr Grundlingh said the software has already met that time frame and in one incident the evidence was obtained within an hour resulting in a man being charged with five counts of attempted murder.

He added: "That's our gold standard that we're pushing towards."

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