Trust Bereavement Coordinator

Care provided after death:

A Trust Bereavement Coordinator is employed in each HSC Trust to promote continuous improvement in bereavement care, standards and training.  The bereavement coordinator achieves this by:

  • Delivering training to health care professionals on grief and bereavement, post-mortem examination consent and related procedures
  • Maintaining a regional approach to HSC bereavement care via HSC Bereavement Network (HSCBN) Board and website
  • Developing support literature for families and making information available for families and staff via trust intra/internet websites
  • Facilitating Trust Bereavement Fora which oversee the implementation of the HSC bereavement strategy
  • Working within Trust governance structures to develop local policies and procedures for bereavement care delivery
  • Working in a multi-disciplinary team to organise Trust remembrance services for patients and staff.
  • Establishing partnerships with statutory, public and community/voluntary services and organisations

The bereavement coordinator also audits the experience of dying and bereaved people cared for by HSC Trusts and may be requested to support bereaved relatives/trust staff in specific circumstances.

Works alongside:

  • Senior management team
  • Nursing and medical staff
  • Mortuary staff
  • Pathology/laboratory staff
  • Chaplains
  • Social workers
  • AHPs
  • Funeral directors
  • Governance departments: Standards and Guidelines, Complaints, Incidents
  • Coroners Service/ PSNI / NIAS
  • Community and voluntary sector agencies
  • Patients, relatives and general public

The standard of bereavement care is enhanced when:

  • The bereavement standards contained in HSC Strategy for Bereavement Care are used by Trusts to inform policy and procedure development, content of staff training and delivery of end of life and bereavement care
  • Trust bereavement coordinator is afforded opportunities to raise awareness and understanding of death, dying and bereavement and grief responsess, regionally and within Trusts
  • Actions from recommendations of audits are prioritised and implemented at Trust and regional level

Standards and Guidelines

  • Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. Northern Ireland Audit:   Dying, Death and Bereavement. Policies procedures and practices in hospital and hospice settings 2009. DHSSPSNI. Belfast
  • Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. HSC Services Strategy for Bereavement Care 2009.  DHSSPS. Belfast
  • Guidelines and Audit Implementation Network. Northern Ireland Audit: Dying, Death and Bereavement – Phase 2 The experience of bereaved people and those delivering primary care services 2010. GAIN. Belfast
  • Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. Human Organ Inquiry (NI) Report.    DHSSPS Northern Ireland.
  • Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. Living matters Dying matters: a palliative and end if life care strategy for adults in Northern Ireland 2010. DHSSPS. Belfast