In the immediate aftermath of a death, people who have been
bereaved may experience a range of emotions.
Staff members supporting
bereaved people at this
time should be aware that they may be numb,
confused or in denial.
They may experience anger and express it against
staff, relatives or the deceased.
Retaining information and remembering
explanations may be difficult.
Staff need to be clear and patient in these
circumstances and ready to repeat information if necessary.
Following deaths in hospital, the walk to the exit can be lonely.
good practice for a member of staff to accompany those who have been bereaved to the exit of the hospital – or to the chapel, quiet room or
canteen if they prefer.
Prior to leaving the hospital, or shortly thereafter, people who have
been bereaved should be given information as to whom they contact if they have any questions regarding the patient’s death.
Informal support for bereaved people includes the provision of good
information about the grieving process, the provision of time and space for people who have been bereaved to tell their story, and reassurance concerning the nature of “normal” grief. Such informal support is the role of any staff member who may have contact with those who have been
The Ayrshire Hospice has developed draft principles and standards for a bereavement service which will operate in an evidence based way to support those who have been bereaved by a death in the hospice.
evidence does not support the provision of routine specialised therapeutic
be of a high that area of
quality, should be delivered only by those specially trained in work and should be targeted at those who, after a period of
help [See Chapter 1, para. 18].
It will not normally be within the remit of
Shaping Bereavement Care 30