A.W. Lymn Funeral Service has revealed that it is currently taking part in a national data collection pilot scheme for Public Health England (PHE).
The scheme is designed to assess Covid-19 deaths in the community, by determining the presence of the virus in the deceased.
The funeral directors were reportedly the first ones in the country to start the data collection process and are one of only three funeral directors nationally to currently be assisting PHE with the scheme.
Jackie Lymn Rose, director, said: “The roll-out of this pilot scheme to detect the presence of the virus in the community comes at a critical time in the UK’s journey ‘back to normal’, as lockdown restrictions are gradually starting to be lifted and social interactions increase.
“The swabbing of the deceased is a straight-forward way of gathering more information about the virus in the community and keeping a handle on its presence.”
She stated that the group’s priority has always been to adhere to their clients wishes and have strict and clear protocols in place about swabbing.
Since the funeral directors began the trial, she said that some families have agreed and others have declined to have their loved ones take part, while some deaths in the community reportedly negate to fit the criteria for swab collection.
She added: “Families are advised that they can withdraw permission from the trial at any stage. If they are in agreement, a consent form is completed and the swab is taken by one of our trained and experienced embalmers. The swab is then sent to PHE.
“I believe it is crucial that we do all we can to gather information about this virus – and that we don’t lose sight of the risks and dangers it poses particularly to older people – as we move out of lockdown.”