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12.

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.

13.

Following deaths in hospital, the walk to the exit can be lonely.

It is

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.

14.

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.

should

15.

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

bereaved.

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.

16.

With

respect

to

more

formal

interventions

with

bereaved

people,

evidence does not support the provision of routine specialised therapeutic

interventions

to

all

bereaved

people.

Clinical

interventions

in

grief

should

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

months,

manifest

a

more

complicated

grief

reaction

and

who

request

such

help [See Chapter 1, para. 18].

It will not normally be within the remit of

Shaping Bereavement Care 30

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