Spiritual, cultural and religious needs vary from patient to patient.
Person-centred care requires that each individual’s needs are met as far as is possible, and the knowledge that dignity and respect for a patient’s individual needs are continued through the dying process and in the aftercare of the deceased is important to people who have been bereaved.
All health boards will have in place policies and protocols governing
what must be done before, at and following the death of a patient. These will include guidance on care of the deceased, last offices, certification, transportation of the deceased, and support for those who have been bereaved along with information on referral to the Procurator Fiscal and
on issues such as infection control.
On occasion these policies may owe
more to clinical efficiency than to the
people who have been
It is important that in all matters relating to the care of the
health boards should review all such policies and procedures to
assess their impact on
people who have been bereaved
and to ensure
they are consistent with this guidance.
For each health board, in the development of all new policies and
procedures, it will be important that issues around death of the patient,
care for the deceased and support for
those who have been bereaved
should be considered.
Prior to death:
Clear information should be offered to the patient and / or the close
relatives as to what may be expected.
Patients should be given the
opportunity to speak to clinical and/or spiritual care staff if they wish and also be encouraged to discuss what they wish to happen both before and after death. Emotive issues such as post mortem examinations and tissue donation may need to be discussed and often the patient may have specific wishes which they should be encouraged to discuss with their
Shaping Bereavement Care 20