Updated guidance for professionals who provide care after death

May 13, 2015   //   No Comments

An updated edition of guidance is now available for the wide range of staff responsible for care after death.

Care After Death is aimed at the different professionals involved in care and support for people just before and after death, including: nurses, doctors, mortuary staff, ambulance staff, pathologists and funeral directors.  It aims to help ensure that a person who has died is cared for and that there is well co-ordinated support which respects the wishes of the deceased and their families.

The updated guidance has been endorsed by many of the UK’s leading health and care organisations, namely: the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), NHS Improving Quality, the National Nurse Consultant Group (Palliative Care), the Royal College of Pathologists, Hospice UK and the National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC).

The second edition now includes information on post-death care in mental health services and prisons and detailed elements of care provision in the immediate aftermath of someone’s death. One particular aspect of care that has been identified as needing attention is the verification of expected death, particularly in a community setting – care home or patient’s home. Families can experience distress when verification is not completed in a timely manner and the guidance recommends minimum timelines for this to take place.

The updated guidance places emphasis on the need for training for staff involved in providing care after death, particularly support for bereaved families. It highlights the need for empathetic, clear communication by professionals, which is adapted to the needs of different families so they are supported as fully as possible to cope with their loss.

You may download the updated guide here.