A PILOT scheme which will offer grieving relatives specialist support following the death of a loved one will include a picture of Pendle murder victim Jane Clough.
A card carried by the police will include a picture of nurse Jane from Barrowford, who was tragically murdered in Blackpool last year. It is therefore expected to be referred to as “Jane’s Card”.
The scheme, launched yesterday, will see police officers in the Preston area carry a card that prompts them to ask family members if they would like help from a specialist nursing team following the sudden death of a relative.
If they want such assistance, members of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s Bereavement and Donor Support Team will contact them to offer help and advice, including discussion on the possibility of organ and tissue donation.
The joint venture is part of a drive by police, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals and Coroner Dr James Adeley to improve the quality of service offered to families who suffer a bereavement.
Jane’s family has recently been highlighting the issue that this card deals with via the press. The pilot is not a direct result of their campaign but the police say it cannot be denied that the death of Jane Clough has been very much in the background of these efforts and has influenced the thinking of the parties involved with setting up this scheme.
Police officers are called to attend a death if it is sudden and unexpected, and does not involve an obvious medical condition. The vast majority of such deaths are quickly found to be non-suspicious.
Previously, opportunities to provide relatives with specialist support, or to honour any wishes in relation to organ or tissue donation, may have been missed. The new scheme will help to eliminate this.
This service will also be available to relatives when a death is suspicious, or requires further investigation. Senior investigating officers and family liaison officers involved in such investigations will approach families to see if they wish to use the service, although there may be some limitations in terms of organ or tissue donations, depending on the circumstances of the incident.
In all cases the final decision as to whether donation can take place will lie with the coroner, but a family’s wishes will be strongly considered.
Det. Supt Neil Esseen, of Lancashire Constabulary’s Force Major Investigation team, said: “Losing a loved one is always distressing, but it can be particularly so if you are unsure where to turn for support and feel that your relative’s wishes are not being met.”