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Future NHS Collaboration

The NHS are working on a project around verification of death (VOD) for care managers within residential homes (non-clinical).

Project aim:
To provide a framework for social care staff in residential care homes to proactively manage and plan effective End of life care including death and immediately post death; to deliver care in a timely fashion to enable the person to have a dignified death, including post death care and transition to the care of the undertaker.

A lack of comprehensive and proactive planning for expected death leads to social care staff in residential homes calling primary care/OOH/111 for support in verifying an expected death so they can transfer the deceased person in a dignified and timely manner to the care of the undertaker.

Verification of death is a formal process that clinical staff may undertake to establish that life is extinct. This involves performing clinical observations. there is no obligation for a GP to verify a death. Social care staff are non-clinical and are unable to formally verify death in this way. Social care staff may recognise that life is extinct.

Therefore we approached a training company that already provide the VOD course for registered nurses to tailor make a course for care managers to manage all expected deaths. The course is called dignity and dying, the course content will cover the principles of robust EoL planning, what constitutes an expected death, effective communication and lots more!

The course will have a simple checklist for managers which was co produced by a care manager, competencies and we will fully evaluate the course with the main outcomes as a reduction in delays in transfer of care to the undertaker and a reduction in calls to 111/OOH for verification of expected death.

Development is in the early stages but it is hoped to pilot the first course in October. If, at this stage, you are interested in involvement with this pilot, please contact:

Debbie Corti-Young 

debbie.corti-young@westsussexpartnersincare.org