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Guidance for Dealing with the death of a member of the University Community


Contents Page No


1. Introduction 4
2. Communications and Co-Ordinating Team 4-5
3. role of the coordinating team 5
4. role of the Faculty/service department 6
5. alerting relevant agencies within and outside the university 6

Appendix A – Coordinating Team checklist 8
Appendix B – Emergency Contact details 9
Appendix C – Death arising out of or in connection with

University activity – Notification procedure 11
Appendix D - Death of a member of the University community – 12
checklist

Appendix E - Chronological Action Log 13

Policy Approval Procedure





Policy Author –

University Safety Adviser

Leigh Clarke


Signed off and date: 7th August 2012


Equality Check

HaSRAM
Colin Farr



Signed off and date: 14 August 2012


Policy check and approval – Director of HR, Dean of Students, Director of Corporate Governance, Director of Estates and Facilities


Signed off and date: 15 August 2012


Policy Approval by

Campus Committee


Signed off and date: 20th August 2012


Policy Approval by

Offices of the Vice-Chancellor


Signed off and date: 20th August 2012


Policy Reviewed: Dean of Students, University Safety Adviser, University Chaplain


Date: August 2016


Policy review date:


Date: August 2018


Guidance: Dealing with the death of a member of the University community.

1. Introduction


    1. The following guidance has been drawn up to assist University Faculties and Corporate Services Directorates in the event of a death involving a student, member of staff, visitors or key stakeholders who by definition have strong associations with the University of Wolverhampton. The aims of the guidelines are to provide a rapid, flexible and sensitive response to such occurrences which will draw upon knowledge, experience and skills available across the University.




    1. A Coordinating Team has been formed to ensure that this guidance is followed and situations are dealt with as effectively and as timely as possible, linking as necessary with the emergency services and external agencies/bodies. The Faculty/Corporate Services Directorates has a key role to play in responding to a death, but it will be advised and supported by the Coordinating Team.


2. Communications and Coordinating Team


    1. Notification of a death can reach the University via many sources, e.g. Security, Halls of Residence, Students Union, Academic Faculty, Corporate Services Directorates, Finance, the media, etc. In the event of a death, the principal contacts must be notified as soon as possible. (See Appendix B for contact details). The principal contact will be required to verify the information and determine the appropriate next steps and actions:

For students all cases must be reported immediately to the Dean of Students.


For members of staff, all cases must be reported immediately to the Director of Human Resources.
For members of the public, a visitor or a contractor all cases must be reported immediately to the Director of Estates and Facilities.


The Coordinating Team (Students) may comprise dependent on circumstances:


Dean of Students (Principal Contact)

DVC Academic Affairs

Academic Registrar (If the Dean of Students is unavailable the Academic Registrar is the principal contact)

Director of External Relations s or Nominee

Director of Estates & Facilities and/or Nominee

Director International (in cases involving international students)

CEO Students’ Union or nominee

Senior Chaplain or nominee

University Safety Adviser or nominee

The Team will also co-opt onto its membership the relevant Dean of Faculty/Head of Department as is necessary.


The Coordinating Team (Staff) may comprise:


Director of Human Resources (Principal Contact)

In most circumstances the assigned Human Resources Business partner would be the normal first point of contact.

DVC Academic Affairs

Director of External Relations (If the Director of HR is unavailable the Director of ER is the principal contact)

Director of Estates & Facilities and/or Nominee

Senior Chaplain or nominee

University Safety Adviser or nominee

The Team will also co-opt onto its membership the relevant Dean of Faculty/Head of Department/Head of Service as is necessary.




The Co-ordinating Team (Members of the public/visitors/contractors) is:


Director of Estates and Facilities (Principal Contact)

DVC Academic Affairs

Director of External Relations or nominee

University Safety Adviser or nominee

The Team will also co-opt onto its membership the relevant Dean of Faculty/Head of Department/ Head of Service as is necessary.




3 Role of the Co-ordinating Team
3.1 The Coordinating Team will assume shared responsibility for coordinating a response and must follow the bullet points (this is not an exhaustive list, and additional actions may be required), below where applicable:


  • Ensure that appropriate pastoral support is made available to staff and students as necessary, both in the immediate aftermath of a death and subsequently:

  • Support the Faculty/Corporate Service Directorates and arrange an early meeting to plan a response, complete with communications;

  • Act as a link between the Faculty/ Corporate Service Directorates affected and the range of resources available in the University and externally;

  • Liaise with any external agencies (e.g. Police, HSE, Coroner’s Office, Embassies, etc.)

  • Coordinate communications with the next of kin / relatives, including a draft letter on behalf of the VC.

  • Ensure that each incident is effectively followed up, and that unnecessary duplication is avoided;

  • Provide information about student support network agencies, such as Students’ Union welfare, or Occupational Health services for staff;

  • Respond to requests for assistance with the costs of accommodating relatives, repatriation and other relevant, incidental costs.

For further issues to be considered by the Coordinating Team, see appendices.



4. Role of the Faculty/ Corporate Service Directorates


    1. The Faculty/Corporate Service Directorates have a key role to play in responding to a death, but this must be advised and supported by the Coordinating Team.




    1. In the event of the death of a student, the Faculty will generally have the relevant information and procedures in place to contact families, next of kin and fellow students. However, for students living within halls of residence, this role may fall to Accommodation Services, and for staff this is likely to be the relevant Faculty or Corporate Service Directorates, i.e. the Student Number is key information. In the case of International Students, The International Centre should also be contacted.




    1. In discussion with and following confirmation from the Coordinating Team, the Faculty and/or Corporate Service Directorates should:




  • Ensure students and staff in the Faculty/Corporate Service Directorates are appropriately informed in a sensitive and timely manner;

  • Check which other groups might need to be informed, for example Student Union societies;

  • Ensure the provision for appropriate pastoral care and support (see below);

  • Be prepared to meet the next of kin, or other relatives, and make arrangements for the collection of personal effects from the University;

  • Ensure that parents or other relatives are provided with appropriate accommodation, if required;

  • Write an appropriate personal letter of condolence to the bereaved (which may complement a formal letter sent by the Vice-Chancellor on behalf of the University);

  • Liaise with the next of kin, fellow students and/or staff with regard to attendance at the funeral/memorial service;

  • Arrange the provision of transport as required.


4.4 The appropriate University Faculty/Corporate Service Directorates should liaise with the Police/external agencies in respect of contacting the next of kin, fellow students and colleagues, as appropriate. Staff and Students should be informed of the support available from the Chaplaincy, Student Counselling Service, Students’ Union, Student Support Services or any of the other University support agencies e.g. Occupational Health.
4.5 The University’s External Relations Department must be consulted and approve any statement before it is issued to the media.
5. Alerting relevant agencies within and outside the University
5.1 It is the Coordinating Team's role to inform the relevant University officers;


  • Vice-Chancellor

  • Offices of the Vice Chancellor

  • Dean/Service Director

  • all other relevant officers

5.2 The Coordinating Team may also need to contact external agencies such as the Police, other emergency services, religious groups, Embassies, the media etc.


5.3 The Coordinating Team will ensure that all relevant University data are amended in the light of the death. Faculties and Corporate Service Directorates shall adopt this Guidance Document in developing specific, systematic response procedures that do not rely on particular individuals, i.e. field trips etc.
5.4 The Coordinating Team will consider such requests for some form of community remembrance to take place, which may take different forms.

Appendix A

Coordinating Team – checklist and reference point to be developed

The following checklist includes some of the key areas that the Coordinating team may wish to consider when they are dealing with a death; this checklist is not exhaustive and should be developed depending on the circumstances of the incident:



  • Identifying Dean of Students and/or Faculty/Corporate Service Directorates as key contacts for external parties, such as family, hospital, Police and Coroner’s Office.

  • Confirming when Police or hospital has informed family.

  • Emailing all stakeholders with regular updates confirming what has taken place, what actions are being taken and by whom.

  • Checking for any other family ties to the University.

  • Contacting family to offer condolences and support with finding local accommodation, liaison with University departments, local emergency services, Embassy, Coroner’s Office etc.

  • The International Centre liaising with the family and Embassy of international students, particularly in relation to their travel to the UK, immigration and other legal formalities, cultural needs and repatriation of the student.

  • Drafting press releases and intranet announcements, liaising with Departments and friends to ensure they are appropriately personalised.

  • Drafting of letters of condolence to the family from the Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Faculty/Head of Corporate Service Directorates.

  • Agreeing with the Dean of Faculty/Head of Department how best to inform students and staff in their department, including the drafting of information and the offer of support through the Student Counselling Services, Students’ Union and Human Resources. NB Details of the cause of death should not be circulated as these may be subject to a Coroner’s inquiry.

  • The provision of information on bereavement and support agencies.

  • Providing feedback to the student’s Dean of Faculty/Head of Department about the probable cause of death or serious injury, where possible.

  • Identifying and offering support to other students who may have been close to the deceased or seriously injured student through their shared programme of study, accommodation, clubs and societies, employment etc. with help from Registry, Accommodation Service and Students’ Union.

  • Advising students affected by the student death or serious injury to inform their academic departments, particularly if approaching examinations or other deadlines for assessed work.

  • Liaising with landlords and other contacts outside the University.

  • Agreeing with the Vice Chancellor/Dean of Students who will attend the funeral and other memorial events on behalf of the University, depending on wishes of family.

  • Arranging coach travel for groups of students and staff wanting to attend the funeral, subject to the wishes of the family.

  • Chaplaincy liaising with family, staff and friends about a memorial event at the University.

  • Dean of Students following up with offers of support to those students most affected by the death or serious injury of the student, including the student(s) who found them.

  • Monitoring and responding to issues raised through the Inquest.

  • Reviewing the University’s response to the death or serious injury of a student to ensure the experience will inform the future development of this protocol. (It should also be noted that the Coroner may ask to see a copy of the outcomes of such a process.)

Appendix B

Contact Details
The Coordinating Team (Students) is:

Team Member

Contact Telephone

Mobile Telephone

Email

Dean of Students – Jon Elsmore


01902 322618




J.Elsmore@wlv.ac.uk

DVC Academic Affairs – Anthea Gregory

01902 322399




A.Gregory@wlv.ac.uk

Academic Registrar – Chris Twine

01902 322403




Chris.Twine@wlv.ac.uk

Director of Estates & Facilities or Nominee – Jennifer Wood

01902 321344



Jennifer.Wood@wlv.ac.uk



Director of External Relations or Nominee- Katherine Clough

01902 322719




K.Clough@wlv.ac.uk

Director International – Derek Walton

01902 321337



D.Walton@wlv.ac.uk




CEO. Students Union or Nominee

01902 322345




A.Gough@wlv.ac.uk

Senior Chaplain or nominee

01902 322904

Contact security

D.Weller@wlv.ac.uk



University Safety Adviser – Leigh Clarke

01902 321289




L.Clarke@wlv.ac.uk




The Coordinating Team (Staff) is:


Team Member

Contact Telephone

Mobile Telephone

Email

Director of Human Resources – Steph Harris

01902 321299




Steph.Harris@wlv.ac.uk


DVC Academic Affairs – Anthea Gregory

01902 322399




A.Gregory@wlv.ac.uk

Director of External Relations – Katherine Clough

01902 322719




K.Clough@wlv.ac.uk

Director of Estates & Facilities or Nominee – Jennifer Wood

01902 321344



Jennifer.Wood@wlv.ac.uk



Senior Chaplain or nominee

01902 322904

Contact security

D.Weller@wlv.ac.uk



University Safety Adviser – Leigh Clarke

01902 321289




L.Clarke@wlv.ac.uk



The Co-ordinating Team (Members of the public, visitors, contractors) is:


Team Member

Contact Telephone

Mobile Telephone

Email

Director of Estates & Facilities – or nominee – Jennifer Wood

01902 321344



Jennifer.Wood@wlv.ac.uk



DVC Academic Affairs – Anthea Gregory

01902 322399




A.Gregory@wlv.ac.uk

Director of External Relations - Katherine Clough

01902 322719




K.Clough@wlv.ac.uk

University Safety Adviser – Leigh Clarke

01902 321289




L.Clarke@wlv.ac.uk



  • In an emergency, out of hours contact information for staff is available from the Offices of the Vice Chancellor, Deans and Directors of Corporate Services.


Appendix C
Death arising out of or in connection with University activity –

Notification procedure
This Appendix details the required notification procedures when dealing with a death which has arisen out of or in connection with University of Wolverhampton activity. This relates to section 7.2 of the Guidelines and covers the necessary actions for the Health and Safety Department and other named University Officers in these circumstances.
Notification Procedure:


  • Health and Safety Department are notified immediately of the incident as per the University Accident Reporting Procedure and Section 7.2 of the Guidelines for Dealing with the death of a member of the University community.

  • If determined that the death is as a result of an accident arising out of or in connection with University activity then The Health and Safety Department is solely responsible, as soon as is reasonably possible, for contacting the following:




    • The Health and Safety Executive (HSE): This will be by telephone in the first instance;

    • The University Insurance Officer: The Insurance Office will then contact University Insurers who will instruct the appointment of an external legal adviser (solicitor), if necessary;

    • The Lead member of the University Major Incident Plan (UMIP) ‘Gold Team’:

    • Other key members of the ‘Gold Team’, as appropriate:, these include, DVC Academic Affairs, The Director of External Relations , Director of Human Resources, Director of Estates and Facilities and the Dean of Students;

    • The dealing with a death of a member of the University Community – Principal Contact (staff or student), if not already contacted as part of the UMIP.



Likely outcomes from Police/Enforcing Authorities:


  • If there is evidence of a serious criminal offence (other than health and safety offences) then this will be investigated by the Police. Any Health and Safety offences will be investigated by the relevant enforcing authority (HSE, Environmental Health, Fire Service etc.,);

  • If a serious criminal offence, it is likely that this will be a joint investigation i.e. Police and Enforcing Authority;

  • If it is not deemed to be a criminal offence (Health and Safety offence only) then the investigation will be carried out by the relevant enforcing authority only.



Appendix D – Death of a member of the University community – checklist






Checklist of Actions (non-exhaustive list, please add as required)

Nominated person(s)

Deadline date and time

Completed date and time



















Has the key contact for external parties been identified?












Has a chronological action log been commenced?












If applicable, has the incident area been isolated and made safe?












Has the Health & Safety Department been contacted in the event of a work related incident?












Has a provision been made for access to facilities required by external agencies (e.g. HSE and Police etc.), telephone line, office and welfare?












Can we confirm that the Police or hospital has informed the family?












Who is the nominated person to send e mail updates to key stakeholders?












Has there been a check for any other family ties at the University?












Has family been contacted to offer condolences and support e.g. local accommodation, Coroner’s office, Embassy etc.?












Is the International Centre liaising with the family and Embassy for International Students?












Has a holding/if asked press statement been drafted?












Have letters of condolence been drafted from the Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Faculty/Head of Department?












Has a method of informing staff and/or students in the Faculty/Department been identified?












Has counselling and other support been offered to staff and/or students?












How is feedback on the probable cause of death going to be fed back to staff and/or students?












Who is going to liaise with landlords and other contacts outside the University?












Has it been agreed with the VC and the Dean of Students who will attend funeral and other memorial events?












Has coach travel been arranged for those wishing to attend the funeral, subject to the wishes of the family?












Has the Chaplaincy liaised with the family, staff and friends about the memorial event?












Who is monitoring and responding to issues raised through an inquest?












Has a review of the University’s protocols taken place following the event?












Appendix E – Chronological Action Log


University of Wolverhampton
Central Security Control – 01902 322106


Chronological Action Log

No

Time

Event


































































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