A senior lecturer at the University of Leicester has been awarded an MBE for services to forensic investigation as part of the King’s Birthday Honours.
Dr Claire Robinson is a Consultant Radiographer in Forensic Imaging at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, and senior lecturer at the University of Leicester, researching forensic imaging methods and teaching on the new BSc in Radiography programme which launches in September.
Claire who has 22 years’ experience in radiography said: “I couldn’t really believe it when I first found out. It was a huge surprise. I’m very grateful to those who nominated me – it’s a huge honour.”
The Birthday Honours are awarded as part of the King’s Official Birthday celebrations during the month of June and will be officially presented to Claire on a date yet to be confirmed.
She added: “Having been sworn to secrecy about it over the past few weeks, it’s a relief to finally be able to tell everyone the news. I know I’m going to be nervous when I pick up my award – who wouldn’t be – but excited too!”
Claire is one of the key players in the development of post-mortem computed tomography (PMCT) scan services in Leicester and the UK, which avoids the need for autopsy for thousands of people each year and has led to speedier and improved forensic investigations.
This system proved invaluable at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic because autopsy had obvious safety concerns. PMCT has now become the primary tool for HM Coroner investigations locally and has been introduced elsewhere thanks to the training she has helped to provide.
PCMT has also improved the speed of identification of victims in mass fatalities and is an integral part of the UK’s disaster response planning, which has seen Claire assist with investigations into the Shoreham Air Show crash (2015), Manchester Arena bombing and Grenfell tower fire, both in 2017. Internationally, she also assisted the MH17 investigation in 2014.
Not only that, but her work supported the business case and planning to fund a dedicated post-mortem scanner to assist clinical activity by providing overflow scan capacity at UHL.
Her achievements also include creating and leading a team of radiographers whilst also working towards and achieving an NIHR Doctoral Fellowship and PhD.
Letters supporting her nomination from colleagues and Senior Coroners said that she “Always goes the extra mile, voluntarily working at any time of the day or night.”
They added that “Claire is one of those rare people who genuinely cares. Her instinct is to put someone else’s need ahead of her own. She never wants or expects praise for her good deeds.”
Radiology Professor Bruno Morgan from the University added: “This award is for a very special person, not only for what she has achieved consistently over a long period of time, but also the selfless way she has gone about it – showing exceptional determination and commitment and respect for her colleagues, the deceased and their families.”