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This document sets out the framework for the operation of the Trust’s Bereavement Office.



This policy explains the role of the Bereavement Office which aims to provide a sensitive, efficient and timely service to the next of kin of patients who die at Ashford & St Peter’s Hospital NHS foundation Trust. The role of the Bereavement Office is also to educate and inform staff of the Bereavement Office function and how to achieve best practice and to promote the image of the Trust as caring for not only its patients, but also those with whom they share their lives.


General Duties and Responsibilities

  • Keep clear accurate records relating to each death in the hospital.
  • Ensure the accuracy of appropriate paperwork relating to the death of a patient, so that the next of kin can proceed with funeral arrangements.
  • Return property and valuables to next of kin
  • Provide accurate information, where appropriate, with regard to registration, funeral arrangements, post mortem (either Coroner’s or hospital).
  • Liaise with the Head of Pastoral Care/Birth Reflections Service/NICU Bereavement Nurse and Labour Ward when a baby/infant dies in the hospital, to make all necessary arrangements.
  • Make all necessary arrangements when a patient dies with no next of kin.
  • To oversee the process for consent to hospital post-mortems.
  • To provide training and information in relation to Induction/Midwife training and Junior Doctor Induction training.
  • Update and review Bereavement Booklet for next of kin.
  • Be proactive in the updating of policies, dissemination and attendance at the End of Life Care Steering Group, and the Maternity Bereavement Group.
  • Operate within a local network with other Bereavement Officers in the South East and work across organisational boundaries.


Policy Details

Download: PDF version
Compiled by: Bereavement Officer
Ratified by:  
Date Ratified: November 2016
Date Issued: January 2017
Review Date: November 2019
Target Audience: Nursing & Bereavement Office Staff
Contact name: Bereavement Officer


See also:

  • Last Offices Nursing Procedure
  • Procedure for Handling Deaths at Ashford Hospital
  • Mortuary Viewing
  • Procedure for Dealing with the Affairs of a Patient Dying with No Known Next of Kin
  • Guidance for Doctors on Post-Mortem Examinations
  • Procedure for the Care of the Bereaved.