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17.

Verification

of

the

death

should

be

carried

out

sensitively,

and

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.

18.

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.

19.

Where death takes place in a shared setting such as a hospital ward

it

should

be

recognised

that

seeing

or

hearing

someone

die

can

be

frightening being open

for other patients.

Staff should address such a situation by

and

honest

about

what

has

happened.

The

attitude

of

staff

to

the

deceased

and

to

people

who

have

been

bereaved

will

do

more

to

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)

20.

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

sensitivity.

21.

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

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