Family Liaison Officers (FLO)

Family Liaison Officers (FLOs) are specially trained for Family Liaison roles and are pivotal in investigations. 

The FLO's have a range of responsibilities, focusing on supporting families, facilitating information exchange between them and the investigative team, and guiding families to suitable support services during an investigation.

Moreover, FLOs offer essential support to staff by providing direction and resources that enable staff to effectively aid families in times of distress and difficulty.

A unique element of the FLO's role is their engagement beyond the investigative phase, which includes involving those impacted by patient safety incidents in the process of improvement when they are prepared.

The team is dedicated to ensuring that families receive treatment which is professional, respectful, and attentive to their needs.

What FLOs aim to do

Our FLOs will aim to support families affected by a serious patient incident in the following ways:

  • Sensitivity and compassion

    • Approach families with empathy and understanding during this difficult time.
    • Acknowledge their loss and the impact it has had on their lives.
    • Be sensitive to cultural and religious considerations when providing support.
  • Immediate support and facilitation

    • Offer emotional support to the family, providing a listening ear for their feelings and concerns.
    • Initiate contact with the family promptly after the incident, ensuring they are aware of your role.
    • Coordinate with relevant healthcare professionals to answer questions and address immediate needs. 
  • Clear and transparent communication

    • Keep the family informed about the incident, investigation process, and any findings that emerge.
    • Provide regular updates, ensuring transparency while maintaining confidentiality as required.
    • Clarify any medical jargon or complex information in a clear and empathetic manner.
  • Liaison with relevant parties
    • Act as a liaison between the family, the healthcare organization, and other involved parties, such as investigators or legal representatives.
    • Help facilitate communication between the family and healthcare professionals, ensuring their concerns and questions are addressed.
  • Support for bereaved families
    • Offer guidance on bereavement support services, such as counselling or support groups available in their area.
    • Provide information on practical matters, such as funeral arrangements or financial assistance if applicable.
    • Offer ongoing support and check-ins to help families navigate the grieving process. 
  • Advocacy and feedback:
    • Help families navigate the NHS complaints process if they wish to make a complaint or provide feedback on the incident. 
    • Support families in understanding their rights and options for seeking legal advice if necessary. 
    • Advocate for the family's needs and concerns within the healthcare organization to ensure they are appropriately addressed.
  • Long-term support and follow-up:
    • Maintain contact with the family beyond the immediate aftermath of the incident, providing ongoing support as needed.
    • Offer assistance in accessing additional support services or resources as they continue to cope with their loss.
    • Ensure that their ongoing needs and questions are addressed in a timely and compassionate manner. 

Meet our FLOs

Ian Orr Ian Orr 

I have worked in NSFT since Feb 2010 starting off as a Clinical Support Worker on Yare Ward at Hellesdon Hospital which started off as a mixed sex ward but eventually changed into an all-male Low Secure Forensic Unit before it then transferred its services to Blakeney Ward Low Secure Unit at Northside House.

I completed my Mental Health Nurse training at UEA in 2018 and then joined Dragonfly Unit as a Band 5 Staff Nurse in Sept 2018 before being promoted to Band 6 Charge Nurse on Dragonfly Unit in Jan 2021.

I have recently qualified as a Systemic Practitioner having just completed the Foundation and Intermediate Systemic Family Therapy course in July 2023 and have loose ambitions to go on at some point to train to become a fully-fledged Systemic Family Therapist but in the meantime, I am hugely honoured and excited to be working alongside Kirk as one of the new FLO’s for NSFT.

Prior to working in NSFT I have worked in a variety of care and mental health settings ranging from residential learning disability care right through to Forensic settings and of course the last 5 years on Dragonfly in a Tier 4 CAMHS setting.

Kirk Wilson Kirk Wilson 

I was a photographer upon leaving school in 1985 covering weddings, portraits, schools, graduations, industrial, and was also Norwich City’s club photographer for 13 years.

Following a period of living and working in France and some retail for Fat Face in Norwich I joined Norfolk Constabulary.

I worked my way through the uniformed response roles up to detective on the covert, surveillance unit where I spent the last 13 years of my career.

In 2008 I completed the FLO course and carried out that role on top of my ‘day job’ within the police.

I was deployed to 28 families/incidents in that time. Ranging from murders, manslaughters, high-risk missing persons, fatal RTC’s as well as national and international jobs.

In 2018 I became a Family Liaison Co-ordinator; this entailed the deployment and welfare of FLOs ‘live’ on a job.

In 2019 I became one of the training team, recruiting and then training the next generation of FLO’s for Norfolk & Suffolk Constabulary.

In 2022 I trained as a TRiM practitioner, and plan to continue to carry out this role alongside my FLO responsibilities.

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