COVID-19: Verification of death
The government has released new guidance about the verifying the death of patients outside of hospital settings. They have put measures in place to enable Registered Nurses to complete verification of death (VOD).
VOD can be performed by Registered Nurses who have been trained to do so, or by Registered Nurses who are not trained but utilise the relevant remote clinical support.
Remote clinical support:
- During core practice hours, call the patient’s registered general practice
- Outside core practice hours call NHS111 where a clinician will provide remote support to work through the verification process.
The verification process
Equipment that you will need to assist in VOD:
- Pen torch or mobile phone torch
- Stethoscope (optional)
- Watch or digital watch timer
- Appropriate PPE
Process of verification during COVID-19
- Check the identity of the person
- Record the full name, DOB, address, NHS number and ideally next of kin details
- The time of death is recorded as the time at which verification criteria are fulfilled.
please follow the points below when verifying a patient has died:
Recording that verification has been completed
- Full name, date of birth, address, and NHS number (if available) of the patient whose death is being verified
- Name of the person verifying
- Role of the person verifying
- Who is present
- Circumstances of death (location, who first noted it, anyone present at the time of death)
- The outcome of verification, including the time of death
- Any discussions with staff or relatives
- Any concerns from staff or relatives
Care of the deceased patient
Please ensure that you follow this guidance when caring for deceased patients, including wearing appropriate PPE:
Stay up to date with the latest NHS COVID-19 guidance here.