confirmation should be given to those present in a straightforward and empathic manner. Language used to inform relatives and carers about a death should be clear, as should information about what will happen next. People who have been bereaved should always be given the opportunity
to ask questions and should receive clear unambiguous answers.
Where death is sudden or traumatic the impact on relatives and
carers is likely to be heightened, and additional time will be required for initial adjustment. A designated member of staff should remain with, or be
available to, those who have been bereaved throughout this period.
Where death takes place in a shared setting such as a hospital ward
frightening being open
for other patients.
Staff should address such a situation by
reassure other patients than of doors and curtains as the the fact of death.
the traditional dimming body is removed, which
of lights and closing was aimed at hiding
Care of the deceased:
Nursing care should not stop when the patient dies. “Last Offices” is the term for the nursing care given to a deceased patient which demonstrates continued respect for patients as an individual
Royal Marsden Hospital Manual of Clinical Nursing Procedures
(Dougherty and Lister 2008)
Last Offices, and any other required care whether at the place of
death or in the mortuary, should always be carried out with respect and
Close relatives and carers should be invited to share in the care of
the deceased, for example by participating in Last Offices or by sharing in
any religious or cultural rituals.
Shaping Bereavement Care 22