1. Death of a Service User
The death of a service user within any residential care home should be reported to the CQC but the death of a service user living in supported living or in their own home (outreach) is only reportable if the person is in receipt of personal care. However, where there is any doubt or clarification is needed, it is advised that the service manager contacts the local inspector for the service or CQC enquiries, to seek advice as to whether this should be a formal notification.
The registered person must notify the Care Quality Commission (CQC) without delay of the death of a person in the service:
- whilst regulated activity services – ‘Accommodation with Personal Care’ or ‘Personal Care’ were being provided; or
- which has, or may have, resulted from providing regulated activity services, that is ‘Accommodation with Personal Care’ or ‘Personal Care’.
The death of a service user should be notified without delay to the CQC. The notification will include:
- a unique identifying code (not their name), their date of birth, gender, ethnicity, any disability, any religion or belief, sexual orientation;
- the date upon which they were admitted to the service;
- the date, time and place of death;
- the time that they were found and where;
- the cause of death, where known;
- whether the death was expected;
- if the death was not expected, a unique identifying code for the last person involved in providing care and their job title (employer if not the home), details of any surgical procedures within the seven days preceding death, and whether there are any concerns about the use of medical devices relating to the death;
- whether the deceased was being restrained at the time of death, or had been restrained within the seven days preceding death whether there are any concerns about the use of controlled or other drugs relating to the death;
- whether there are concerns about the use of controlled or other drugs relating to the death;
- whether there are concerns about the use of medical devices relating to the death.
The service manager, or designated responsible person in their absence, must:
- respect the service user’s wishes (details will be in the individual’s end of life care plan) in the event of death;
- immediately notify the senior on-call person for the company;
- inform the next of kin;
- inform the care manager (or the out of hours contact);
- inform the placing authority;
- agree with the care manager and next of kin who will undertake the funeral arrangements;
- forward the death certificate to the appropriate person;
- offer bereavement support for service users and staff following a death.
2. Death of a Service User Detained or liable to be Detained under the Mental Health Act 1983
The registered person must notify the CQC without delay of the death in any location of a service user who is detained or is liable to be detained by under the Mental Health Act 1983. The notification of the adult’s death must include a description of the circumstances of their death. The CQC can prosecute for a breach of this regulation or a breach of part of the regulation. This means that they can move directly to prosecution without first serving a warning notice. Additionally, the CQC may also take any other regulatory action. The CQC will refuse registration if providers cannot satisfy them that they can and will continue to comply with this regulation. Other professionals / services, as detailed in Section 1 above, should also be informed.