In a statement in September 2008, the Minister for Public Health Sport1 said: “The introduction of bereavement guidance is long
overdue in Scotland.”
The Minister undertook that the guidance, whilst
setting out key principles and advice for health professionals, would not in
they believed to be most appropriate to needs or circumstances, be they physical,
meet their particular mental, spiritual or a
combination of all three.
It is in fulfilment of that undertaking that Shaping Bereavement Care
is now presented to the NHS in Scotland. This Framework is a first step in putting bereavement care firmly where it belongs – on the agenda of NHS Boards in Scotland who, while accepting responsibility for the care of the living, and of the dying, must also accept a responsibility to address the needs
of those who have been bereaved.
Shaping Bereavement Care is the outcome of debate over the past
year among a wide-ranging multi-disciplinary project group and a series of specialist topic groups; much more it is the outcome of discussions with a wide range of people, both within, and outwith, the health service, and the experience of the many people to whom members of the project group have
spoken, and with whom they have worked clinically several years. The document has been the subject
and therapeutically, over of extensive consultation
with a wide variety of stakeholders including health sector, and groups representing bereaved people.
Shaping Bereavement Care makes reference to, and integrates with
other Scottish Government policy initiatives including the call for a mutual NHS which underlies Better Health, Better Care (Scottish Government Health Directorates [SGHD] 2007), the development of spiritual care in Guidance on Spiritual Care (Scottish Executive Health Dept [SEHD] 2002, SGHD 2009 and
1 Speaking at Pathways Through Grief, the first National Conference on Bereavement in a Healthcare Setting, Dundee 2008
Shaping Bereavement Care 10