Hospital Porter

Care provided after death:

In many hospitals the respectful and safe transfer of deceased patients from their place of death to the hospital mortuary/area of repose is the responsibility of the hospital porter. In some Trusts funeral directors have been contracted to fulfil this responsibility, in others the family funeral director attends the place of death and removes the deceased patient directly to their premises.

Works alongside:

  • Nursing and medical staff
  • Mortuary staff
  • Family funeral directors
  • Patients, relatives and general public

The standard of bereavement care is enhanced when:

  • The name and location of the deceased patient, and any particular risks associated with handling the body are communicated clearly to the porter/funeral director when their service is requested
  • The family has had an opportunity to spend time with their loved one and last offices have been completed before transfer is arranged
  • All relevant documentation, for example, body transfer form and cremation documentation/ post mortem examination consent form, if relevant, is completed correctly at place of death and accompanies the deceased patient to the mortuary
  • On-going training in manual handling, health and safety,  infection control, multi – cultural /  religious practices, diversity and bereavement care is provided and staff are released to attend

Standards and Guidelines

  • Trust protocols for porters involved in transportation of the deceased and who have access to mortuary facilities
  • Trust policies, guidelines and standard operating procedures relating to manual handling, health and safety, infection control and bereavement care
  • Care and Respect in Death: Good Practice Guidance for NHS Mortuary Staff Department of Health, 2010