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review the provision of psychological, social, spiritual and bereavement care to ensure it is available and appropriate to meet current and future needs”.


The patchy nature of bereavement support in the NHS was also

apparent in the preparation survey of boards and in visits few Boards had designated

of Shaping Bereavement Care.

Both in a

to boards across Scotland, it was clear senior managers with responsibility

that for

bereavement care, and while relating to, for example, the

there was evidence of care of the deceased,

policy and documents mortuary procedures,

security of property of patients drawn up from the viewpoint of, who have been bereaved. There or policies in place related to

who had died, these had seldom been or measured against the needs of, those was limited evidence of specific guidance the support of those who have been

bereaved. Against this, many evidence of a desire to provide

examples of good practice support to those who have

can be found - been bereaved

- in

however, these palliative care),

tended to or specific

be limited to particular patient units in individual hospitals.




Within Scotland, with its rich diversity of cultures and faiths, the

development of spiritual care within healthcare has allowed for the needs

of different groups to be recognised and prioritised. publications (NHS Education for Scotland 2006a,

A number of recent NHS Education for

Scotland 2009a, Scottish Interfaith Council 2007) have helped advance the development and understanding of spiritual care in the Scottish health

context and Spiritual Care Matters (NHS Education for Scotland contains a useful chapter on Bereavement Care as part of holistic care.

2009a), spiritual


Scotland is also fortunate in its wealth of third sector groups who

contribute to support and care for those who have been bereaved (Bondi et al 2003), and there are examples of good partnership working between

statutory and third sector groups.

Shaping Bereavement Care 16

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