London Lite Monday, 10 August 2009 13.4m met bill for doctors to test prisoners in cells SEVEN doctors employed by the Metropolitan Police were each paid more than 200,000 a year, with one getting 279,000. Another 53 got 100,000 each out of the forces bill of 13.4m for 153 doctors, known as forensic medical examiners, who cared for and assessed prisoners in police custody last year. The doctors were able to achieve the astonishing sums because they were paid for each person they saw. If they visited one station and saw three people they were paid three times. A report says the fee-per-case system attracts significant fees during a relatively short attendance in the custody suite. The huge cost emerged amid a growing row over medical cover for prisoners. The Met plans to recruit 200 nurses to provide 24-hour cover at custody centres, partly in a bid to control costs. And under the new scheme, the spe- cialist doctors will no longer be able to claim on a fees-per-case basis. In future they will have to claim for sessions they work rather than for individual visits. Superintendent David Imroth, head of the Mets Custody Directorate, said the forensic nurses would be given five weeks training and would work alongside the doctors. Nurses will provide instant care for minor cuts and ailments, which will reduce the need to call in a forensic medical examiner. They will also help c u s t o dy se r g e a n t s dec ide if a prisoner needs a doctor. The first team has been introduced at Charing Cross police station. Mr Imroth said: We are building a professional team who will be able to look after not only the detention rights of prisoners, but also the health of individuals. Dr Michael Wilks, of the Society of Forensic Physicians, said that under the new system the Met would be using 40 to 50 locum doctors who were not neces- sarily trained in forensic medicine. He admitted he was surprised by the number of doctors earning more than 200,000, saying this showed they were working dangerously long hours. Many of the police doctors also work as GPs and their specialist forensic work topped up their NHS income. Others rely solely on their income working for the police. by felix allen A MURDER inquiry was launched today after a man was hacked to death with machetes in a south London pubs beer garden. Drinkers watched in horror as the 28-year- old victim was set upon by two men as he drank with a woman, thought to be his girlfriend, in Sutton last night. He was dragged into an alley where he was slashed repeatedly and left for dead. Witnesses told police the victim was arguing with a woman in the New Inn in Myrtle Road when two men armed with machetes ran into the garden and attacked him. Police and paramedics rushed to the pub when several customers dialled 999 at about 7.20pm last night. They took the seriously injured man to a nearby hospital where he had emergency surgery but died an hour later. Three men were arrested by detectives from Scotland Yards homicide squad last night. One of those held is believed to be the 24-year-old former boyfriend of the victims partner. His father, aged 54, was also being questioned after being arrested at an address in Sutton. A third man was arrested in Wimbledon. Police are preparing to interview around 35 people who were in the pub at the time. Murderprobeaftermandies inpubgardenmacheteattack nJASON PAYNE-JAMES, one of the most experienced forensic medical examiners the Met has, defended the forces pay scales and said a plan to employ more nurses would not make the service cheaper. Dr Payne-James, 52, said forensic medical examiners can be called on to treat detainees who have overdosed or tried to kill themselves, or to examine someone accused of sexual assault. He said: If I was arrested, I would want to be seen by a doctor or nurse with proper training in custodial medicine. Horror: the New Inn, Sutton, was packed during the attack police medic paid 279K in one year Expert: Jason Payne-James defended the pay HH Girl, 12, sold sex for snack money A GIRL aged 12 worked as a prostitute for pocket money to buy sweets and crisps, say police sources. She had sex with up to 10 men at a block of flats in Islington and received less than 5. The girl has been taken into care. bnp councillor in nazi car row A LONDON councillor for the BNP was facing calls to resign today over a car number plate that looks like the word Nazi. Julian Leppert, from Redbridge council, says registration NA51 ZCY came with the car when he bought it.