Lancashire moves closer to opening digital autopsy facility

Plans have been signed off for a Digital Autopsy Facility (DAF), which will offer non-invasive post mortems to bereaved families across Lancashire, and the North West of England.

Advanced forensic medical software company iGene, operator of the World’s first Digital Autopsy Facility Network, will provide this service as part of its DAF Network in England.

The centre, which will be adjacent to The Royal Preston Hospital, will accommodate the new Lancashire Digital Autopsy Facility. It will also train and support pathologists and radiologists across the region in the benefits of this new technology.

Peter Coulson-Smith, Business Development Executive for iGene, said today: “Digital Autopsy offers a significant humanitarian step forward in establishing the cause of death using software technology rather than a scalpel.

“We are delighted to have signed the agreement for our fourth facility in the ever expanding UK Network which will bring digital autopsies to the North West of England.”

Dr James Adeley, Senior Coroner for Lancashire, said: “This is a significant advance for the people of Lancashire in establishing accurate causes of death without the need for the distress of the traditional post-mortem, for families who are already grieving.”

“The county council and the Trust have cooperated very effectively to deliver a service that is unavailable elsewhere on this scale.”

The service, to be provided by Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and iGene, will be free at the point of delivery for bereaved families.

Mark Pugh, Medical Director at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to be the first place in the North West to provide this innovative service, which will help to reduce distress for grieving families who are already going through a difficult time.”

“This revolutionary approach to providing post-mortem examinations is far less invasive which means we are able to treat the deceased with more dignity and more quickly than the current arrangements.”

“We are pleased to have been able to deliver this service in collaboration with Dr Adeley, Lancashire County Council and iGene in full recognition of the benefits it will provide for the people in Lancashire.”

Work on the new facility will now get underway and it is expected to open early 2018.

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