Notification of death in residential care
Following comments from some care managers regarding continuing uncertainty about DoLS and how these may affect deaths in residential care, advice has been received from the Senior Coroner’s Office.
All deaths in care homes can be dealt with in the same way regardless of whether a DoLS is in place or not.
Where death is expected:
- Death must be declared by a person trained to recognise death.
- The funeral directors nominated in the care plan can be called to collect the deceased and take them into their care.
- The GP will be contacted when the surgery is next open and asked to complete the MCCD (and Cremation forms if appropriate)
- If the GP is not happy/able to issue the certificate, they will refer the death to the Coroner. (e.g. if the person was died as a result of mesothelioma)
Where death is not expected:
- Death must be declared by a person trained to recognise death
- During surgery hours, contact should be made with the GP. They may still be of the opinion that they can issue a MCCD. If they cannot, the police should be called.
Where the death is unnatural the police should be contacted immediately.
The only difference that DoLS now makes is, if the death was unnatural, the inquest must be heard in front of a jury.