This guideline has been written by the HSC Bereavement Network for registered nurses, healthcare assistants and other healthcare professionals who may have responsibility for providing care during and after the death of a patient in acute, secondary or primary care settings.
The guideline aims to:
• Promote safe and sensitive care of the body at the time of and after death, taking into consideration the wishes of the deceased patient and their family
• Ensure the deceased person is treated with dignity and respect, and that cultural and spiritual needs are met
• Promote effective inter-agency working by outlining the roles and responsibilities of relevant professionals and organisations who are involved in caring for the deceased patient and their relatives
• Promote effective communication and provide information to assist families when dealing with the practical issues that arise as a result of the death eg. registration of death or a death that is referred to the Coroner
• Inform the development of relevant policy, procedures and protocols to guide the practice of health and social care staff
• Provide a resource that will be useful for pre and post registration training and education and contribute to the professional development of nurses in the care of the deceased patient and their family.