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Bereavement service launch

Bereavement service launch

Losing a loved one can be a devastating experience and County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust has introduced an enhanced bereavement service to offer emotional support, practical information and advice to the families and carers of patients who sadly die in hospital.

At such a sensitive time, grieving families often benefit from spending time talking about what has happened.  A busy ward environment is not always the ideal location for this and dedicated bereavement support officers are able to offer the help families need, in areas specifically designed for this purpose.

Executive Director of Nursing, Noel Scanlon, said, "Even when a death is expected, the shock can be overwhelming.  The volume of paperwork and formalities can also seem daunting.   Our Bereavement Support Officers are there to help families through those difficult first few hours and days. One of the first things they can do is help with the timely collection of the medical certificate and the patient's belongings, arranging for them to be returned to loved ones, avoiding a potentially distressing return visit to the ward for them.    

"New Bereavement Suites at University Hospital of North Durham and Darlington Memorial Hospital, offer a quiet, private place for grieving relatives to ask questions about the paperwork and other things that need to be done when someone dies, including registering the death and funeral arrangements.   We also have a new Information and Advice for the Bereaved booklet, with useful contact details, including Registrars, guidance on arranging a funeral, and checklists."

The service is already being welcomed, with families particularly appreciating the information available on the formalities, and the calm environment of the bereavement suites.

'The treatment I have received from all the staff has been excellent and could you extend my thanks to them all. A very thankful and relieved patient'.

Patient, Dermatology Outpatients Department, University Hospital of North Durham