The box below highlights the benefits that have been established in
NHS Lothian who appointed a co-ordinator in 2005.
NHS Lothian has raised the standard of bereavement care through establishing the post of Bereavement Coordinator. The coordinated approach has led to wide-ranging improvements, including: development and review of clear, consistent policies and guidelines; design and delivery of training and educational initiatives; new information resources; improvements and renovations to physical environments and facilities for bereavement care and better communication and liaison between NHS Lothian departments and external organisations.
If this could be replicated across all health boards, with the additional opportunity to allow all health board co-ordinators to share information and expertise within a national forum then bereavement care could be enhanced.
Principles for Coordination:
Coordination should take place at two levels – national and local
At both levels, coordination is required between those working with dying and bereaved within health care
At both levels, coordination is required between those within healthcare and other services that relate in any way to the needs of dying and bereaved people
Effective coordination needs to be resourced and supported by senior management
It is appropriate for the health service to take a lead in coordination
both locally and nationally At national level, coordination bereavement services sit, and a
requires clarity about where named individual facilitating a
At board level, coordination requires both an executive lead and the appointment of a bereavement services coordinator, who might sit alongside other relevant patient experience functions
Shaping Bereavement Care 49