The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Pathology

Useful Information and Guidance

Identification of bodies

The deceased must have at least one wrist band attached, giving accurate details of the identification of the deceased. There should also be two body cards, one attached to the shroud, and the other attached to the sheet or body bag containing the deceased. Nursing or medical staff who cared for the deceased will be called to the mortuary to identify and relabel bodies which bear inadequate or inconsistent identification information.

Transfer of Deceased Patients:

Hospital Deaths: These patients are transferred to the mortuary by the Facilities Service (Portering), at the request of individual wards. The guidelines given in the LTH infection control policy must be adhered to.

Facilities have written procedures for the safe and respectful transfer of deceased patients to the Mortuaries.

To arrange transport contact:

Leeds General Infirmary: Deputy Head Porter ext 23270 Jubillee Wing and main site; Deputy Head Porter ext 22622 Clarendon Wing

St James's University Hospital: Facilities Control Centre ext 65000  

Community Deaths: These patients are transferred into the Mortuary by local Funeral Directors at the request of HM Coroner or the Coroners' Officer.

Identification of Deceased Patients:

The deceased must have at least two identification bands attached.  These must display full accurate patient identification including (as a minimum) the Full Name, DOB and NHS number. There should also be two fully completed, body cards (LTH 0293), one attached to the shroud, and the other attached to the outer sheet or body bag containing the deceased. Nursing or Medical Staff that cared for the deceased will be called to the Mortuary to identify and add identification bands for patients who bear inadequate or inconsistent identification information. Please refer to the Positive Identification of Patients Policy available on intranet

Viewing of the Deceased:

Viewings are by appointment only. Within Mortuary working hours (09.00 – 15.30 Monday to Friday) appointments should be made directly with Mortuary Staff.  Outside Mortuary working hours, including Weekends and Bank Holidays appointments should made between the ward on which the patient passed away AND the Portering Supervisors.

Post Mortem Examination (autopsy) and Consent:

Consent for a post mortem examination can be offered by the deceased’s treating Clinician, The Nurse Specialist for post mortem consent (mobile number available via switchboard) or requested by the person in a qualifying relationship to the deceased.  The giving of consent is a positive act and valid and appropriate consent should have been provided for the post mortem examination to proceed.  A post mortem examination may be full or limited in scope and this should be discussed with the treating Clinician, Pathologist and person in a qualifying relationship to the deceased providing consent.

For further information please refer to:

Leeds General Infirmary

St James's University Hospital

Her Majesty’s Coroner

HM Coroners post mortem examination is done at the request of HM Coroner and consent from the person in a qualifying relationship to the deceased is not required. A death is referred to HM Coroner by the deceased’s treating Clinician via email.

For further information please refer to:

Referral to HM Coroner

The Bereavement Liaison Office can be contacted on:

SJUH:  0113 20 64162 / 64302

LGI:     0113 39 23560 / 22674

Patient Release - Adult

All adult deceased patients are released from the hospital via the Mortuary; Funeral Directors are NOT permitted into the clinical areas.  Deceased patients are released via the Mortuary during normal working hours, once all the required documentation has been completed.  Deceased patients that are required to be released outside of Mortuary working hours are released either by the On Call Mortuary Technician (only under instruction from HM Coroner (or the Coroner’s Officer)) or by authorisation from the Clinical Site Manager (contacted via switchboard).

Baby / Child

Most babies / children are received into the Mortuary and are released to the Funeral Directors within Mortuary hours.  However some parents wish to take their baby or child home with them or transfer them to a Hospice.  Both Delivery Suites and Children’s Hospital have Standard Operating Procedures: Taking a Baby, Child or Young Person from Hospital after Death and Guidelines: End of Life Care Guidelines for Infants, Children and Young People for these releases.  These are available on Leeds Health Pathways.