Menu

More about Patient Affairs

Patient Affairs

Bereavement

Our aim is to provide a compassionate, dignified and caring service for the deceased patient, their family and friends. To offer an advisory service and smooth the way in the processes that will follow. We are involved in liaising with various agencies, such as the Coroner and the Coroner’s Officers, The London School of Anatomy, Tissue Retrieval Teams, other NHS hospitals, Funeral Directors, Registration Offices and Local Government Offices.

We strive to establish good communications with family and friends who need our services, offering help and advice where needed. Sometimes this can be a very involved process especially when the deceased has expressed a wish for their body to be donated for research purposes or where relatives cannot be traced.

As we live in a diverse society we make every effort to observe and respect the cultural and religious needs of every family.

We also meet with families when they collect the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death and any property we have held for safekeeping can respectfully be returned to the family at this time.

If family or friends ask to see their relative in the hospital’s viewing room the team will try to facilitate. The family must give their permission for any friends who wish to attend.

Unfortunately from time to time an adult will die having no surviving next of kin. When this occurs our team steps in and act on their behalf, registering the death, organising the funeral and notifying the appropriate agencies about their Estate.


Condolence Cards

The Trust wishes to express condolences to any family faced with bereavement, however, if the deceased is one of our patients we will endeavour to send a condolence card to the next of kin.

Bereavement Booklet

Patient Affairs, Wards and the Emergency Department all hold the Trust Bereavement Booklet (named, Help for Bereaved relatives). This should always be given to the family and friends, enclosed are contact details and general information to help advice and support at this time.

Bereavement Questionnaires are available.  We ask if you are or when you feel able, to complete the form and return to us in the freepost envelope, the information supplied will help us to gauge our services and will enable the Trust to continue to look at ways to improve our services.

If you are not in receipt of a Bereavement Questionnaire but would like the opportunity to complete one, please contact Patient Affairs on 01923 217114 and send it by freepost to:

Tracy Moran
Lead Nurse Patient Experience
FREEPOST
NAT 2520
Hemel Hempstead
Hertfordshire
HP2 4BR

Bereavement: What is Normal?

A leaflet is available to all bereaved, it is designed to help explain and support how you may feel following the loss of a relative or friends. The leaflets are available from Patient Affairs and the Spiritual and Pastoral Care Team.

Registering a Death

Once the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death has been issued to you please register the death at a Registration Office in Hertfordshire and where possible this should be within five working days.

To make an appointment you need to phone the Registration Offices central telephone number 0300 123 4045 who will give you an appointment at your local office in Hertfordshire or you can make an appointment by going on line at www.hertsdirect.org.

Out of Hours Registration

If a burial is to take place on either a Saturday or Sunday where a doctor knows and has treated the patient, a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death can be issued providing the Coroner does not need to be involved.

The Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Hatfield will offer an out-of-hours service, by appointment only.

Saturday
09.30am – 12.30pm contact 0300 123 4045

Sunday
09.00am – 11.00pm contact 0300 123 4045

Or you can make an appointment by going on line at www.hertsdirect.org

A green certificate will be issued by the Registrar; this will need to be given to your Funeral Director who must bring this certificate to the hospital along with the hospital Transfer of Care form, signed by the next of kin. The Operations Manager/Bed Manager must be contacted and a time arranged before any deceased patient can be released form the hospital mortuary.

Witnessing Wills and Power of Attorney

If you need any information about this service please contact Patient Affairs