Review of Death Policy

Applicable to: Applicable Health Service Providers listed below

Description: The purpose of the Review of Death Policy is to ensure that Health Service Providers (HSPs) implement consistent policies, processes and systems for the recording and review of patient deaths in order to identify:

  • Potentially preventable deaths 
  • Opportunities for improvement in the delivery of health services, including the quality of end-of-life care. 
The Review of Death Policy establishes the minimum requirements for:
  • The Death in Hospital Form required to be implemented by HSPs 
  • Reviews of patient deaths outside of the Clinical Incident Management (ClM) and WA Audit of Surgical Mortality (WAASM) processes 
  • Record keeping and reporting to the Department of Health's Patient Safety Surveillance Unit (PSSU). 
The following related documents are mandatory pursuant to the Review of Death Policy:
  • Death in Hospital Form - establishes the minimum information required to be collected tor all deaths of patients in hospital. 
  • Review of Death reporting template - to be used for half-yearly reporting to the PSSU (unless prior approval has been given to provide reports in an alternate format). 

The following documents inform/support implementation of the Review of Death Policy:

  • Review of Death Guideline - includes information to assist HSPs development of comprehensive review processes for the deaths of terminally ill and palliative care patients, and effective governance of independent review processes, as well as the statutory and mandatory reporting requirements that may apply when a patient dies, and the CIM and WAASM processes. The Review of Death Guideline must be read in conjunction with the respective legislation, policies and supporting information where applicable. 
  • Review of Death flowchart - provides a visual representation of the interaction between the Review of Death Policy and the CIM and WAASM processes.

The Review of Death Policy is applicable to the following Health Service Providers:

  • Child and Adolescent Health Service
  • East Metropolitan Health Service 
  • North Metropolitan Health Service 
  • South Metropolitan Health Service
  • WA Country Health Service 
  • Quadriplegic Centre 
  • PathWest 
Type of Amendment Date of Effect Description of Amendment
Major Amendment 29 April 2019 Section 5 of the Policy updated to refer to two versions of Review of Death reporting template.
Death in Hospital Form updated to clarify aspects relating to the provision of medical records to
the Coroner in the event of a reportable death.
Minor Amendment 15 November 2019 Review of Death Policy and Supporting information Review of Death Guideline to align with Clinical Incident Management Policy 2019 MP 0122/19.
Major Amendment 12 October 2020 Death in Hospital Form Section 3: How to Report a Death to the Coroner updated to reflect change of name from Coronial Investigation Unit to Coronial Investigation Squad, change to contact times, and change of transmission of form by fax to email to:

Date of effect: 01 January 2019

Policy Framework

Related documents

Supporting information