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Resources to guide on national standard CoD process

Confirmation of Death - new resources


Update of Progress: Confirmation of Death (CoD) by Registered Healthcare Professionals – sharing best practice to enhance standards

A NES Confirmation of Death (CoD) working group led by Lesley Whyte, Associate Director from NMAHP, has been reviewing the needs of healthcare professionals in Scotland who will now be able to confirm death in any circumstances. (DL (2017) 9)

The group, made up of board leads in palliative care, patient safety, quality improvement, and practice education, as well as practitioners from primary and secondary care, have been involved in reviewing current practices across the territorial boards. This has revealed variation in procedural practice in relation to Confirmation of Death. In addition, the NES CoD working group has been informed of needs through wider consultation with Dr George Fernie, Senior Medical Reviewer in HIS, Professor Jean Ker, Associate Postgraduate Dean Clinical Skills Managed Education Network (CSMEN), Tom Osborne from Deery Funeral Services, Paul Kelly, Clinical Governance Manager with the Scottish Ambulance Service, and Anne Moffat, NES Practice Educator, who liaised with the NES Bereavement team. In addition, the group reviewed best evidence for practice.

Following these findings and consultations, the NES CoD working group has developed a set of national resources:

  • Firstly, an agreed process for the procedure has been developed and a video will be available as a learning resource in Spring 2020. The procedure is aligned to the agreed Confirmation of Death documentation and has been led by Anne Moffat and Jean Ker.
  • Secondly, guidance on confirmation of death was developed to sit alongside the recording template document.
  • Thirdly, a frequently asked questions (FAQs) sheet has been developed for practitioners.
  • Finally, a prompt card reminder has been developed in relation to eliciting the key signs for the confirmation of death procedure, and an after-shift checklist for practitioners’ self-care.

Please contact for further information.