Scheme that helps prevent cot death is to be revised after Brighouse family’s plea

Paul Dainton with Emily Dainton, Rebecca Dainton and babies Niamh aged five months and Sofia aged five weeks.
Paul Dainton with Emily Dainton, Rebecca Dainton and babies Niamh aged five months and Sofia aged five weeks.

A Brighouse man has welcomed a change in policy from healthcare provider Locala that will see more babies at potential risk of cot death given support.

Paul Dainton’s 18-month son Matthew died of cot death in 1987 and he has since campaigned to raise awareness around the issue, and money for special monitors that alert parents if their child’s breathing stops.

The CONI scheme provides specialist advice, information and support to health professionals who, in turn, support bereaved families with their subsequent babies and help them enjoy the first year of their baby’s life

CONI PLUS offers similar help to close relatives of a baby that has suffered a sudden infant death.

Paul’s daughter Rebecca was recently told she could was not eligible for the scheme because she lives in Huddersfield, while Paul’s son was eligible, as he lives in Brighouse, despite both babies being born at Calderdale Royal Hospital.

But Locala have now said both CONI schemes will be relaunched so that anomalies like that do not occur in future, and assessments of need in Calderdale and Kirklees are now the same.

A Locala spokesperson said: “Locala does offer the national CONI scheme in Calderdale and Kirklees on behalf of health commissioners in both areas. We work with the national Lullaby Trust which advises on best practice and provides research for the scheme, offers training to our health professionals and fundraises at a national level to supply equipment for the CONI scheme.

“At the time these two families were assessed for the scheme, there was a slightly different offer in place in the two areas which meant different criteria, so on this occasion only one family received support. However, this is no longer the case. The scheme is in the process of being re-launched nationally and now in each case, regardless of whether families live in Calderdale or Kirklees, they are assessed on their need for the scheme and then equipment is provided if required based on the assessment.”

Paul said: “I would like to thank, on behalf of my children, the help of the Halifax Courier, with whom we have been able to apply pressure to the local health commissioners, and in line with their statement, the CONI Plus scheme will now be available in both Calderdale and Kirklees.”