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
'Every aspect of my emergency care was dealt with quickly,
efficiently and professionally with full explanations and
compassion from all staff involved'.
Patient, Emergency Department, Darlington Memorial Hospital