A Brief History of the Victorian Forensic Paediatric Medical Service (VFPMS)
Victoria has been in a unique position during the last 40 years, benefiting
from the shared expertise of paediatricians and forensic physicians to
evaluate abused, injured and neglected children. Since brothers Birrell,
one a paediatrician and the other a police surgeon, published their seminal
work on hospitalized abused children in 1966, we have effectively used
the knowledge and skills of both groups of medical professionals to serve
Victoria’s children and the needs of statutory agencies.
Several inquiries including the Brown report, the Steering Committee
into Paediatric Forensic Medicine and the Ministerial Inquiry into Paediatric
Forensic Medicine led to increased recognition of the possible benefits
to be obtained should Victoria coordinate all forensic paediatric medical
services and integrate these services within mainstream paediatric health
services. The establishment of Health Services for Abused Victorian Children
advisory group strengthened resolve to improve data collection and progress
plans for creation of an integrated, coordinated service.
In 2002 doctors who for ten years had been meeting regularly for peer
review formalized their association with a Memorandum of Understanding
and formed the Melbourne Paediatric Forensic Medical Group (MFPMG). This
MOU created a unifying agreement between the three service providers in
Medical Centre, Victorian
Institute of Forensic Medicine and the Royal
A working party was formed in 2004 to look at funding and service options.
In November 2005 the Premier announced funding of $6.4 million over four
years to redevelop the forensic paediatric medial services A steering
group with representation from the Department of Human Services, Victoria
Police, the Royal Children's Hospital, Monash Medical Centre and
Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine was formed to develop and implement
the service model.
The new service commenced in July 2006 with three service providers working
together to coordinate forensic paediatric medical services statewide.
The service is governed by a coordinating group with representation from
the Department of Human Services, Victoria Police, Monash Medical Centre,
the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine and the Royal Children’s