Bereavement

Death is an inevitable fact of life. However, many of us never think about what we need to do until we are faced with the situation. It is at this time you need all the help and support possible to help you through the grieving process. We at the surgery are available to give you advice and guidance; however, there are certain practical steps you might need to know about.

The information opposite will help you to understand what needs to be done.

If someone dies at home
  1. Telephone the doctor and they confirm that death has taken place and also tell you how to obtain the death certificate.
  2. Contact a funeral director who will be able to advise you on registration procedures.
If someone dies in hospital
  1. Contact a funeral director to let them know that their services will be required.
  2. Collect the doctor's death certificate from the hospital.
In all cases of death
  1. Make an appointment to take the death certificate to the registrar"s office for the area in which the death took place. Also take the deceased"s medical card, if available, and also details of the birth certificate. The registrar will then issue you with a green form.
  2. Take this green form to the funeral director who will take over responsibility for arranging the funeral and allow you to grieve in peace.

Dying Matters - Key Messages

  • You deserve to die well.
  • Dying well is more likely to be achieved by talking about it early on.
  • It is vital that you talk about your need to plan your dying with those around you.
  • Talking about death doesn‟t bring it nearer. It‟s about planning for life – because it allows you to make the most of the time you have.
  • There are 101 ways people find to talk about dying; there is no right or wrong way.
  • Not talking about someone's wishes towards the end of their life with friends, family and loved ones can mean that they may not get what they want, or die where they want. They might not have expressed their wishes about their care or funeral, or have made a will. They may simply not have said what they wanted to say.
  • Talking about dying makes it more likely that you, or your loved one, will die as they might have wished.

The End of Life Care Strategy

The Westminster Government published the End of Life Care Strategy in July 2008. It promotes high quality care for all adults at the end of life in England by providing people with more choice about where they would like to live and die. Similar strategies for the end of life have also been developed in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

About 500,000 people die in England every year, and it is predicted that this will rise to 590,000 within the next 20 years. The majority of deaths occur in adults over 65 years old, and following a period of chronic illness related to conditions such as heart disease, stroke, liver disease, renal disease, diabetes, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, neurological diseases and dementia.

The Department of Health End of Life Care Strategy says there are many challenges to be overcome to ensure that everyone attains a good death irrespective of their background.

Everybody deserves a good death and this is more likely to be achieved by talking about it early on. Although every individual may have a different idea about what would, for them, constitute „a good death‟, for many this would involve:

  • Being treated as an individual, with dignity and respect
  • Being without pain and other symptoms
  • Being in familiar surroundings
  • Being in the company of close family and/or friends

About Dying Matters

Dying Matters is a broad based coalition set up by the National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC) to raise public awareness of dying, death and bereavement, to support the implementation of the Government‟s End of Life Care Strategy.

The Dying Matters Coalition mission is to promote awareness and support changing knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards dying, death and bereavement, and through this to make a 'good death' the norm.

Everybody - whatever their age or state of health – needs to talk about their wishes towards the end of life with their friends, families and loved ones. The earlier we talk about it the easier it is emotionally and practically for everyone.

The Dying Matters Coalition has over 14,000 members with an interest in supporting changing knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards dying, death and bereavement. This includes organisations from across the NHS and the voluntary and independent health and care sectors, including hospices, care homes, charities supporting old people, children and bereavement, from social care and housing sectors, from a wide range of faith organisations, community organisations, schools and colleges, academic bodies, trade unions, the legal profession and from the funeral sector.

Subjects to talk about with friends, family and loved ones

In the checklist below are some of the areas that people can leave too late to discuss. Some of these may be more important to you than others. If you want to know more about any of these areas, go to the Dying Matters website

  • The type of care someone would like towards the end of their life
  • Where they'd like to die
  • Whether they want to be resuscitated or not
  • Funeral arrangements
  • Care of dependents
  • Whether they have written a will
  • Save other lives – through organ donation
  • How they'd like to be remembered
  • Whether they have any particular worries they'd like to discuss about being ill and dying
  • What they'd like people to know before they die

Did you know?

The majority of people (around 70%) would prefer to die at home, but around 60% die in hospital – in many cases unnecessarily.

While more than 70% of people report feeling confident about planning for their end of life, less than a third (29%) of people have actually discussed their wishes around dying.

The Raleigh Surgery
33 Pines Road
Exmouth
EX8 5NH

Telephone: 01395 222499
Fax: 01395 225493

Surgery opening hours
Monday to Friday 8.30am to 6.00pm

We are a 1 partnered and 2 salaried GP practice. Over the years general practice has changed and the services provided have increased in variety. Although our main function is to provide help when you fall ill, many of our services are aimed at preventing illnesses and catching them in their earliest and most treatable stages.