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To Be Categorised
Senior Nurse, Mental Health Service
Lead Nurses and Facilities Officer
MH & LD Procedures and Guidelines Group
01 July 2007
01 December 2019
01 December 2022


1.1        To ensure that matters related to patients who have died in Stratheden Hospital are managed with efficiency and dignity.


2.1       All wards at Stratheden Hospital.


3.1       Medical, Nursing, Porters & Funeral directors.



4.1      Once death has been certified or verified, the nurse in charge will carry out last offices; attach appropriate labels and wristband to the deceased in accordance with NHS Fife Policy on Care of the Deceased & Bereaved.

4.2      The deceased will be covered by a loose sheet once they have been dressed, do not wrap the deceased up. 

4.3      Taking note of the wishes of the next of kin/family, any valuables left on the deceased will be recorded on ‘Valuables Retained on Deceased’ form, (appendix 1) signed and witnessed. 

4.4       The nurse in charge will contact local funeral directors, Steven Stewart Funeral Directors directly on (01334 655323 or on mobile number 07969005126) and inform them that the deceased is ready for removal.

4.5       The funeral director will contact ward directly to arrange a time for the deceased to be collected.

4.6       The Duty Nurse (Bleep 200) will be contacted and updated regarding the arrangements.

4.7       The funeral director will attend the ward to collect the deceased; they will check and sign the ‘Valuables Retained on Deceased’ form if any valuables are left on the deceased. (appendix 1)

4.8       The nurse in charge of the ward will be requested to sign documentation provided by the funeral director’s staff. (appendix 2)

4.9         If the death certificate is not available, a copy of the verification of death form is to be issued to the funeral director’s staff. (appendix 3)

4.10       If the deceased had suffered from an infectious disease, the funeral director should be alerted of this fact by nursing staff.

4.11      The next of kin will be informed by nursing staff that the deceased has been removed to the local funeral director’s premises.   They will be given the name, address and telephone number of Steven Stewart Funeral Directors.

4.12      The rationale behind using the local undertaker will be explained to the relatives, (no mortuary facilities at Stratheden Hospital).

4.13       Relatives may choose to have the funeral arrangements carried out by a funeral director of their choice.  In such cases it is normal for funeral directors to make arrangements for the deceased to be transferred. 

4.14        If the patient has a pacemaker fitted, this information will be conveyed to the funeral director by nursing staff.

4.15        Death certificates; if completed remain on the ward for next of kin or representative to collect.

4.16        Issue information booklet – What to do after a death in Scotland.


5.1      Clinical staff will confirm, before the deceased is removed, that all documentation is in place and meets the requirements of this procedure.

5.2       Any risks to NHS Fife will be managed by the clinical staff in respect of the content of this procedure.


6.1       What to do after a death in Scotland, Scottish Government, Edinburgh 2008 (ISBN: 978-0-7559-5669-2)

6.2       Funeral Director: Code of Practice Scottish Government, Edinburgh 2019 (ISBN: 978-1-78781-954-2)

6.3       Valuables Retained on Deceased Form (appendix 1)

6.4       Witness of Valuables on Deceased by Funeral Director on Collection Form (appendix 2)

6.5       Verification of Death Form (appendix 3)


7.1       NHS Fife Policy on Care of the Deceased & Bereaved (COD-01)

7.2       NHS Fife Policy for the Care of Person in the last days and hours of life

7.3       NHS Fife Infection Control Manual

7.4       NHS Fife Information Governance policy

7.5       NHS Fife Spiritual Care Policy / Local Delivery Plan

7.6       Death Certification (Scotland) Act 2015

7.7       Suite of procedures for care of the dying, deceased and bereaved.

7.8       NHS Scotland (2011). Shaping Bereavement Care – a frame work for action. Edinburgh: Scottish Government.

7.9       NHS Fife Code of Corporate Governance, Financial Operating Procedures Section 18(c) Section 6.

7.10     The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation trust, Manual of Clinical Nursing Procedures, Ninth Edition 2015 Online.