Standard 7: Care after death

The General Practice commits to:

To meet this standard the practice commits to:


Practice Guidance

7.1 Have understanding and be able to manage grief and bereavement


7.1a Understand the process of anticipatory grief and bereavement
  • Roles and responsibilities for each team member discussed and recorded
  • Consider and discuss peer practice at MDT
  • Understand the difference between the 'normal grief process' and more complex grief that may require medical intervention.
  • Understand best-practice guidance, to agree objectives of optimum grief and bereavement support, for example, consider bereavement risk assessment





7.1b Offer Practice support
  • Practice policy of what patients and carers can expect from the practice to support their individual anticipatory grief and bereavement needs, for example, condolence letters, information leaflet, death certification, bereavement call or visit, referral to services
  • Practice plan on verification of death and certification
  • Consider setting up or linking with peer support networks available for the bereaved, run from local practices in cohorts.
  • Contact with the key family member or carer after death
  • If appropriate and possible, actively contact relatives where death was unexpected and pre-bereavement contact would not have been made
  • This activity can be generated from having a record of the carer/family involved and from the Supportive Care Register being marked as 'patient died'. Therefore, the practice can develop a clear understanding of when and how to offer support to bereaved relatives.
  • Consider practice or CCG wide leaflets and online information.
  • Care After Death publication updated with new guidance for Registered Nurses on verification of expected deaths

7.2 Knowledge of local systems

 7.2a Ensure the bereaved are aware of local support
  • Practice support information leaflet of local services
  • Have contact information for with local carer support and bereavement support groups
  • Consider practice links and collaboration with local carer support and bereavement support groups
  • Consider children and adolescent specific support groups – either following loss of a parent/adult or for parents following loss of a child
  • Consider culturally specific support groups

Next: Standard 8: General practice being hubs within Compassionate Communities >

QI 7: Continuous Improvement

Regular audit of support offered to the bereaved, for example, documented contact with the bereaved, support information given.

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