Further changes to the sudden death policy in Bedfordshire

Blurred ambulance

From now on, police sergeants and detective sergeants (and ranks above only) from Bedfordshire Police may recognise that life is extinct and that a person is deceased in the following circumstances:

  • where the body is dismembered
  • in cases of decapitation
  • where the body is in a state of decomposition
  • where the body is a skeleton
  • where the body is in a state of rigor mortis, accompanied by significant discolouration (including of pooling of blood by gravity), there is absence of breathing and absence of pulse.  The prevailing circumstances and history should also be conducive with the fact that the person has died.
  • in cases of drowning where a person has been submerged for a significant period (12+ hours), supported by discolouration, decomposition, bloating, absence of breathing and absence of pulse.

 In these prescribed scenarios, there will be no requirement for an ambulance or medical professional to be called if not already in attendance. 

If you have any queries about this, please contact quality development team lead, Lewis Andrew by emailing lewis.andrews@eastamb.nhs.uk

Published 31st March, 2016

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