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In July 2008 the Department of Health launched its End of Life Care Strategy. The Executive Summary of the Strategy highlights apparent inconsistency in the level and quality of care being offered at the present time to the dying patient and their families/carers both before and after the death of the patient. “Some people do indeed die as they would have wished, but many others do not. Some people experience excellent care in hospitals, hospices, care homes and in their own homes. But the reality is that many do not.” The purpose of the Strategy is to set out key areas in which care can and should be improved. It addresses both the last days of a patient’s life and care after death. It also looks at involving and supporting families and carers and at the care that family/carers may require after the death of a loved one. It also addresses issues around training and developing staff.

Material prepared for the End of Life Care Work Stream within the Surrey Primary Care Trust indicates that at any one time about 25% of inpatients in acute hospitals are in the last year of life. In the light of this Commissioners of acute care will in future require evidence that both the dying patient and their carers are provided with “appropriate support both during the patient’s time in Hospital and in the period around death”. This Bereavement Policy aims to reflect areas of good practice within our Trust and to encourage a consistency in standards and in practice across all parts of the Trust.


Policy Details

Download: PDF version
Compiled by: Laurence Gamlen, Spiritual Care Lead
Ratified by: Safety and Quality Committee
Date Ratified: October 2020
Date Issued: December 2020
Review Date: October 2023
Target Audience: All staff
Contact name: Laurence Gamlen, Spiritual Care Lead


See also:

  • End of Life Care Strategy
  • Communicating Significant news: Guidelines for Best Practice
  • Last Offices Nursing Procedure including Last Offices for an Infectious Patient
  • Patient’s property policy and procedures
  • Mortuary Viewing policy and procedure
  • Policy and procedure for the early release of the deceased patient out of normal working hours
  • Meeting the Patient’s Religious Needs:
  • Bereavement Pack – ‘Some important information for you at this time’
  • Guidelines following the loss of a baby after miscarriage, stillbirth, termination of pregnancy for abnormality, and neo-natal death
  • Guidelines to Follow in the Event of a Death Occurring on the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit
  • Resuscitation Policy
  • Handling Deaths at Ashford Hospital
  • Bereavement Office: Doctor’s Training Pack,
  • Guidance for Doctors on Post-Mortem Examinations,
  • Tissue Donation Policy
  • Guidelines for Using Interpreting Service