Download the Care After Death: Registered Nurse Verification of Expected Adult Death (RNVoEAD) Guidance (5th edition, updated June 2022); and Care After Death (4th edition, updated July 2022). 

Hospice UK statement


Hospice UK, the National Nurse Consultant Group [Palliative Care], and the Royal College of Nursing are pleased to inform you that we have published ‘Care After Death: Guidance for staff responsible for care after death’ (fourth edition) and ‘Care after Death: Registered Nurse Verification of Expected Adult Death’ (5th edition- version 5.1). These documents are the most downloaded guidelines from the Hospice UK website.  

We would like to thank everyone who contributed to these guidelines. 

The guidelines continue to evolve; and the main changes in these editions are because COVID-19 is now an endemic infection, and as a result of the NHS publication: Death certification processes: information for medical practitioners after the Coronavirus Act 2020 expires 

Our position remains that we only recommend nurses who are included on the NMC register to undertake this role as we strongly believe that the wraparound care required at point of death, including the discontinuation and safe disposal of medication and care of the bereaved, requires this level of knowledge and skill. We do, however, recognise that this is guidance and our expectation is that organisations will take this guidance and amend for their local policy, education and training needs.       

We continue to support and promote the inclusion of verification of death in the pre-registration training of Registered Nurses and Nursing Associates in line with the relevant competencies, and the continued uptake of this aspect of patient and family care by registered nurses already in clinical practice. 

We also look forward to new working with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Task and Finish group to revise the Code of Practice for the Diagnosis and Confirmation of Death and will update these two guidance documents again once there has been progress.

We recommend that commissioners of education and services consider the importance of verification of expected death and care after death in ensuring compassionate care for those who have died and those who are bereaved.