NI Ambulance Service Health & Social Care Trust

Care provided after death:

Northern Ireland Ambulance Service Health and Social Care Trust has a statutory responsibility for the provision of emergency ambulance services in Northern Ireland and works closely with other members of the Health and Social Care Services team. Their role in emergency situations includes:

  • Emergency calls which involve sudden or unexpected death
  • Transportation of acutely unwell patients who are known to be terminally ill
  • Aiming to reduce distress and suffering for both the patient and others present
  • Informing the PSNI immediately in cases of unnatural or unexplained death, or those deaths occurring in a public place
  • In other circumstances, ambulance crews will usually liaise with a patient’s general practitioner in respect of certification of death, and ongoing care of those present

Works alongside:

  • GPs, hospital doctors and other hospital and community health and social care professionals
  • Other emergency services: Police Service for Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service and HM Coastguard
  • Coroners Service for Northern Ireland
  • Social Services

The Standard of Bereavement Care is enhanced when:

  • There is effective and sensitive communication between the parties involved
  • Other agencies, requesting the assistance of the ambulance service for patient care and transport, provide appropriate information so that attending crews are aware of the full circumstances.
  •  Documents containing an agreed plan of care for patients with a palliative diagnosis are available within the home with contact details of the GP and other involved care providers
  • In the event of a documented decision having been made against resuscitation, a clear understanding between the clinicians, ambulance crews, patient and their relatives is in place in order that any acute deterioration is managed in the most appropriate way

Standards and Guidelines:

  • Emergency crews work to national clinical guidelines (JRCALC) and receive standardised training which includes the management of death.