Many of the resources on this page and other areas of this website were launched before the COVID-19 pandemic and therefore some elements may not now be appropriate for the current situation within health and social care settings, however many of the key points will still be of relevance for practitioners.

Please note, this website and these videos deal with issues related to death and bereavement and were created for health and social care professionals: caution is advised for those who are not health and social care professionals as some may find the themes upsetting. 

Discussing dying

 

Discussing dying is something most of us shy away from. The potential discomfort is not just in the patient’s mind - it’s also likely to be in the minds of the professionals who are looking after them. This video aims to help healthcare professionals discuss dying openly and honestly with their patients.

Click on the image to the right to watch the video or here to view it on the NHS Education for Scotland Vimeo channel

A transcript of this video can be found here.

 

Download the accompanying resource material which accompanies the video. 

Withdrawal of Active Treatment in an Intensive Care setting

Discussing the withdrawal of active treatment in an intensive care setting can be a difficult and distressing conversation for everyone involved. This video aims to help healthcare professionals communicate with families in this situation.

Click on the image to the right to watch the video or here to view it on the NHS Education for Scotland Vimeo channel

transcript of this video can be found here.

A downloadable leaflet which accompanies the video can be found here.

Supporting Families around the Resuscitation of a Baby or Child

The sudden and unexpected deterioration of a child is an unimaginable situation for families. This video aims to help prepare healthcare professionals to support and communicate with parents, which is an essential part of caring for a whole family at this difficult time. Please note that this video is designed to act as a guide to communication and the depictions of cardiopulmonary resuscitation used within it should not be considered instructional.

Click on the image to the right to watch the video or here to view it on the NHS Education for Scotland Vimeo channel

transcript of the video can be found here and a downloadable leaflet which accompanies the video can be found here.

Supporting Families around the Resuscitation of an Adult Family Member

A person’s sudden collapse is potentially one of the most traumatic events that a family can experience, particularly when unexpected and if the resuscitation is not successful. This video aims to help prepare healthcare professionals to support and communicate with families at this difficult time. Please note that this video is designed to act as a guide to communication and the depictions of cardiopulmonary resuscitation used within it should not be considered instructional.

Click on the image to the right to watch the video or here to view it on the NHS Education for Scotland Vimeo channel

A transcript of this video can be found here and a downloadable leaflet which accompanies the video can be found here.

Delivering the news of a death by telephone

Breaking the news of a death can be particularly challenging for health and social care staff when circumstances require them to do it by telephone. This video aims to help professionals prepare for and undertake these conversations.

Click on the image to the right to watch the video or here to view it on the NHS Education for Scotland Vimeo channel

A transcript of this video can be found here and a downloadable leaflet which accompanies the video can be found here.

Talking and being with people who are bereaved

When working in health and social care, encountering people who are bereaved is inevitable. It is important to be aware of some ways to sensitively approach these interactions; to have the confidence to talk or just listen. This video aims to help health and social care professionals communicate with families in this situation. 

Click on the image to the right to watch the video or here to view it on the NHS Education for Scotland Vimeo channel

transcript of this video can be found here and a downloadable leaflet which accompanies the video can be found here.

Talking to children who are bereaved

Talking to children when they are about to be bereaved or have just experienced a death may feel daunting. Knowing how children of different ages may react can help. This video aims to enable professionals to facilitate such discussions through an enhanced understanding from the perspective of children who have been bereaved.

Click on the image to the right to watch the video or here to view it on the NHS Education for Scotland Vimeo channel

A transcript of this video can be found here and a downloadable leaflet which accompanies the video can be found hereMore information can also be found here.

Stories for Education: Living with Death

This film, based on the experiences of doctors, has been produced to help individuals consider the emotional impact of caring for people at the end of their life, especially if there are treatment options which may not be appropriate. It will be particularly useful for doctors in training but may also have relevance to other health and social care professionals. This resource may be particularly appropriate to use in a small group teaching setting. Please note, this animation is not designed to be an instructional guide.

Click on the image to the right to watch the video or here to view it on the NHS Education for Scotland Vimeo channel

transcript of this video can be found here and a downloadable leaflet which accompanies the video can be found here.

Coping with death and bereavement as a health and social care professional

This film introduces the acronym ‘TALK

  • Tell
  • Ask
  • Listen
  • Kindness

which was designed to help health and social care professionals cope with death and bereavement. It encourages staff to support each other with simple strategies such as talking to your colleagues, asking how your team are doing, listening to one another and showing kindness to yourself and others.

Click on the image to the right to watch the video or here to view it on the NHS Education for Scotland Vimeo channel

A transcript for this video can be found here. A downloadable leaflet which accompanies the video can be found here.

Breaking the news of intrauterine death

Breaking the news of an intrauterine death is one of the most challenging parts of working within maternity settings. It can affect not only the patient but also the doctor and the wider team. This video aims to support healthcare professionals who work in maternity services and those who are involved in caring for patients who have experienced an intrauterine death.

Click on the image to the right to watch the video or here to view it on the NHS Education for Scotland Vimeo channel

A transcript of this video can be found here and a downloadable leaflet can be found here.

 

Dealing with unsuccessful neonatal resuscitation

Whilst most neonatal resuscitations are successful, sometimes babies are born too sick to survive. This video offers a communication guide for all healthcare staff who may deal with this situation or care for families after a neonatal death. The areas covered include, preparing parents for what they may see during the resuscitation, breaking the news honestly and clearly, providing information and support, introducing memory making, taking a baby home after death and the importance of debrief to support the team involved.

Click on the image to the right to watch the video or here to view it on the NHS Education for Scotland Vimeo channel

A transcript of this video can be found here and a downloadable leaflet which accompanies the video can be found here.

Discussing Authorised (Hospital) Post Mortem Examination After Stillbirth or Neonatal Death

After a stillbirth or neonatal death, a post mortem examination may provide parents with valuable information about why their baby died. This video aims to help healthcare professionals sensitively discuss post mortem examinations with families.

Click on the image to the right to watch the video or here to view it on the NHS Education for Scotland Vimeo channel

A transcript of this video can be found here.

A downloadable leaflet which accompanies the video can be found here

 

Talking to parents about their decisions around burial or cremation after the death of their baby

This video includes guidance for professionals in Scotland on how to provide families who are bereaved with support and information about infant cremation, their options for the disposal of their baby and funeral arrangements. It will be of interest to a wide range of people, including healthcare professionals, funeral directors and crematoria staff.

Click on the image to the right to watch the video or here to view it on the NHS Education for Scotland Vimeo channel

A transcript of this video is available here.

Discussing Adult Authorised (Hospital) Post Mortem Examination

Discussing post mortem examination with those who have recently been bereaved can be daunting and challenging. This video will be of relevance to all professionals who are involved in situations where a post mortem examination is being considered, discussed or undertaken. It specifically aims to enable the viewer to facilitate such conversations by focusing on questions that families may ask, including: why a post mortem examination should be considered and what is involved.

Click on the image to the right to watch the video or here to view it on the NHS Education for Scotland Vimeo channel

A transcript of this video can be found here and a downloadable leaflet which accompanies the video can be found here.

Understanding the processes following a sudden or unexplained death

The management of a sudden or unexplained death can be challenging for professionals. The responses required may be complex, and come at an extremely difficult time for those who are bereaved. Empathetic handling and knowledge of the multi-agency processes which may occur can reduce unnecessary stress for all concerned. This video aims to enhance professionals’ understanding of these processes, including the role of Police Scotland, Police Family Liaison, medical practitioners and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

Click on the image to the right to watch the video or here to view it on the NHS Education for Scotland Vimeo channel

A transcript of the video can be found here and a downloadable leaflet which accompanies the video can be found here.

Bereavement Charter for Children & Adults in Scotland: What does it mean for health and social care professionals?

This short animated film gives an overview of the Charter and what it means for health & social care professionals. It paints a picture of how our society can become better at supporting people experiencing grief and bereavement, acknowledging that although bereavement is everyone’s business, health and social care professionals have a key role in supporting patients who are bereaved.

Click on the image to the right to watch the video or here to view it on the NHS Education for Scotland Vimeo channel

Demonstration of the Confirmation of Death procedure in Scotland

This short film shows a practitioner undertaking the essential clinical examination procedure required to confirm death in Scotland. It also includes an outline of the responsibilities of the practitioner in relation to communication, documentation and referral.

This resource was developed prior to the COVID 19 pandemic. 

Practitioners undertaking the procedure to confirm death of people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, must adhere to the up to date infection prevention and control measures which includes personal protective equipment (PPE). This can be found at: https://www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/a-to-z-of-topics/covid-19/

Click on the image to the right to watch the video or here to view it on the NHS Education for Scotland Vimeo channel

A transcript of this video can be found here.

Death Certification, the Review Process and Discussions with Families

 

In this short film (aimed at medical staff in Scotland), Dr George Fernie (Senior Medical Reviewer, Healthcare Improvement Scotland - HIS) is seen in conversation with Dr Katherine Ritchie (Scottish Clinical Leadership Fellow) regarding the completion of Medical Certificates of Cause of Death (MCCD), talking about the content of these with families and the MCCD review process.

Click on the image to the right to watch the video or here to view it on the NHS Education for Scotland Vimeo channel

A transcript for this video can be found here.

NES Bereavement Webinar Series Recordings

 

NES began hosting a bereavement webinar series in 2020 for health and social care professionals. Many of these sessions have been recorded and are openly accessible to view.

Topics cover include: faith, spiritual care and mourning rituals, supporting LGBT+ people around death and bereavement, child bereavement, bereavement following substance use, why grief gets stuck and how we can help, how we psychologically respond to major incidents, death certification and more.

Click here to view the recordings.

2019 Bereavement Education Conference Speaker Recordings

 

The inaugural NES bereavement education conference was held in November 2019, “Starting with the end in mind; A realistic approach to bereavement and resilience”

Dr Donald Macaskill (Chief Executive, Scottish Care), discussed the power of human stories, especially around times of bereavement; the need for staff to be supported when caring for people at end of life or following a death; and the development of a Bereavement Charter for Scotland.

Click on the image to the right to watch the video or here to view it on the NHS Education for Scotland Vimeo channel

Click here to watch short film clips from other conference speakers, each sharing a brief overview of the key take-home learning points from their session.