Everlasting January Strikes Again

Everyone seems to be in agreement that last week was the longest in living memory. I think from Tuesday it felt like it should have been the weekend already! The mortuary has been busy with various different things which has kept me on my toes all week and made for one very tired MG. I had both the Queen’s Hospital and Upminster Death Cafe’s this week too which went really well. Now planning begins for February!

January has meant that I have gone into full swing with my portfolio, alongside also starting to plan a wedding properly which is stressing me out more than it actually should and is ridiculous. By midweek I was struggling to stay on the positive side of feeling overwhelmed, I really had to sit down and convince myself that I was still in control of everything. Oh, and dare I mention that I started the epic project of tidying and decluttering the house after binge watching Marie Kondo on Netflix. In actual fact tidying has certainly sparked a lot of joy for me and brings some peace to my mind but it’s a mega distraction from what actually needs to be done!

The portfolio I’m working on is divided into five modules each focusing on an aspect of mortuary work. There’s team working, conducting viewing and post mortem work focused modules alongside a general one about running a mortuary. While I don’t need to be a master at these things, I need to show understanding and training that I have completed towards being able to do them well.

While it’s been so busy I’ve not been able to get much work in for the portfolio during work hours but I did spend a short while one morning just grabbing blank copies of various forms we use so I could make mock versions and show I know what they are and why we use them. You might, or might not, be surprised by the number of forms the mortuary uses day to day.

While we recently had a computer database installed to make searching for details a lot easier and centralise the information we have, a large part of this is having scanned copies of the paperwork pertaining to that patient accessible from the database itself. At a bare minimum patients will have a form known as a ‘Mortuary Communication Form’ that comes with them on admission with their basic information. Basic information is quite detailed however covering full name, date of birth and death, address, age, sex, religion, property, medical devices and any infection information. If nothing occurs while they are in the mortuary other than their release, then a release form will be scanned in which is provided by the person collecting proving that they have at least three unique identifiers for that patient and can prove they know exactly who they are collecting. Standard information for this is name, date of birth and address. A number of additional forms can be included relating to anything and everything including commonly post mortem or tissue donation.

Information governance is a huge part of our role and it’s very important we only share information with the people who need to know. We have full training on this, and it’s always emphasised that we deal with a lot of sensitive information that should not be shared needlessly. I think this may surprise some people, particularly as I know from working in finance that the former Data Protection Act and it’s replacement the General Data Protection Regulations do not apply to deceased individuals data.

The upcoming week is most likely set to be fairly full on and I will try to get Part 3 of my Cleaning series out by midweek. Hope you’ve had a great weekend so far!

MG x

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