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Press Release

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Title
Dying Matters Week: Support after someone dies
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Press release date16/05/2018
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Summary
We recognise that losing someone you love is incredibly hard, so here at Leicester’s Hospitals our Bereavement Services team is here to help relatives/carers when their loved one has died in one of our hospitals.
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Press release

The team will guide them through the practical aspects and support with the paperwork that needs to be completed after death. They can help by acting as a go-between with medical and nursing staff, funeral directors, the coroner’s office, the registrar's office and any other outside agencies, the practicalities that need to be sorted when someone dies.


Kim Sanger, Bereavement Support Service Nurse at Leicester’s Hospitals said: “The team offer sensitive and compassionate support to bereaved families, and are aware of religious and cultural issues around the time of death and will do their best to accommodate the needs of all families.”


“Grief is a very personal experience.  What you experience in your grief is particular and specific to you.  There are no rules or a ‘correct’ way to grieve.  Grief is complicated and can be a very frightening experience and we can support families through that process if their loved one has died in one of our hospitals.  We can also redirect people to a number of organisations who can offer further support.  Family members and carers may contact us at any time and are offered the opportunity to receive a follow up telephone call or letter six to eight weeks after their bereavement.”


If you are struggling with your grief and you would like someone to talk to, there are a number of organisations which may be able to offer support. Some may offer counselling, others information and a few provide support groups. You may also wish to speak with your GP.


If you know someone who has recently lost a loved one here are a few tips which may help.


1. Don’t avoid them, make contact – call, visit, email or letter. It’s better to acknowledge the loss than do nothing;


2. Offer them practical help if needed. Even the little things can make a difference;


3. Offer them the opportunity to talk. Offer them space and the environment to express their feelings and just listen and try not to impose your views, even if it appears that by talking it is upsetting them;


4. They may not feel it is the right time to talk and just being there can help;


5. People’s needs change, so try again at a later time if they initially decline your offer of practical support, company or opportunity to talk. They may not feel able to ask;


6. Recognise and explain to them that it’s ‘OK ‘ to cry, not cry, be angry, feel guilty, feel lost, or for some, even feel a sense of relief….everyone’s bereavement and grief is different;


7. Be aware that grieving will take time and again this is different for each person. Hearing people suggest that they “pull themselves together” or that they should be “over it by now” are very unhelpful;


8. Contact the person at special times, such as birthdays or anniversaries, which can be particularly difficult;


9. Avoid using sentences such as “I know how you feel”, “time is a great healer, you’ll get over it”, “everything happens for a reason” or “they would not have wanted you to cry” which can prevent openness and can make the person feel like you are minimising their loss;


10. Be aware that the person may be ‘coping’ on the surface, but underneath may need support;


11. As their family and friends who have initially been around return to their normal everyday working lives, those bereaved can feel more alone. Contact as time passes is often very much appreciated (being mindful of a balance between offering on-going support and friendship and not being over bearing with sympathy);


12. Raise an awareness that there are bereavement support agencies available in the community (e.g. CRUSE) or via their GP;


13. It can be emotionally tiring supporting someone who is grieving, so be aware of your own well-being needs too.


ENDS


NOTES:

If families or carers would like further information or support, our Bereavement Support Service is available from 9am - 4pm Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays).


If further information or contact is required in another language or format, this can be arranged.  Telephone: 0116 258 4380 or 07950 868337 or email: bereavementsupportservice@uhl-tr.nhs.uk 


To interview someone about our Bereavement Service, please contact the Communications Team on 0116 258 8715/8644/ 8963.

Contact information:
Contact information
For further information please contact:
Tiffany Jones,
Tel: 0116 258 8963/ 07507 783217
Email: tiffany.jones@uhl-tr.nhs.uk
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Press release number
6601
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