What these quotes all indicate is the need to develop some form of
co-ordinated approach which will bring together a range of different groups both within and outwith the Health Service who are all engaged in bereavement care activity but as yet often work in isolation from each other. Providing a central point of contact would perhaps enable the gaps between different providers at differing points along the bereavement
journey to be reduced. phases which need to be pre-bereavement, at the
It may be possible to consider three distinct linked through co-ordination: prior to death or immediate time of the death and in the period
following the death.
The extent to which co-ordination can be achieved and what it may
consist of is
not straightforward. Each locality
will have differing needs
bereavement care in different ways to ensure three phases and for all groups is consistent.
One of the first approaches to co-ordination of bereavement care in
the UK was When a Patient Dies, undertaken by the Department of Health (DoH) for England and Wales in 2005. Whilst this was developed in response to the organ and tissue retention problems it sought to identify bereavement care as a wider responsibility and one which required greater understanding and acceptance by health service organisations. The principles and core elements on which bereavement care should be based were highlighted and clear indication of the need for leadership and
coordination of day to day services was outlined:
“It is desirable that the responsibility for death and bereavement services is clearly defined within NHS Trusts’ management structures. It is desirable to have:
a nominated executive lead whose portfolio includes executive responsibility for the corporate delivery of services relating to death and bereavement; and
Shaping Bereavement Care 44