HSC Bereavement Network (HSCBN)
In 2006 the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (since 2016 DoH) established the HSC Bereavement Network, appointing a Trust Bereavement Coordinator (TBC) to each Health and Social Care Trust. The initial remit of the HSCBN was to develop bereavement care standards and in 2009 the HSC Services Strategy for Bereavement Care was launched. Standard implementation will continue to build the capacity of HSC staff to provide safe, effective and compassionate care to dying and bereaved people.
The HSCBN agrees a regional management plan for the Coordinators which has included an audit of HSC practices around end of life and bereavement care. NI Audit Death and Bereavement 2009 Phase 1, NI Audit, Dying Death and Bereavement, Phase 2. In 2016 Phase 1 was re-audited
2016 Dying, Death and Bereavement re-audit report
A re-audit was carried out during June-August 2015 to document the extent to which HSC Trusts have met the twelve recommendations from phase one of the original Dying, Death and Bereavement audit (2009) and as necessary make recommendations for further improvement or development of the standard of care delivered and experienced around the time of and after death. The report was released by GAIN in May 2016 and is available from the RQIA website
Experience of Bereavement 10,000 More Voices Project 2017/18
It was agreed that the experience of bereavement would be included in the 2017/2018 regional work plan for 10,000 More Voices. The overall aim of the Experience of Bereavement 10,000 More Voices Project was to capture the contemporary experience of bereaved people. This was to measure the effectiveness of interventions and improvements since the introduction of the bereavement strategy standards and recommendations following the 2009/10 audit.
Trust Bereavement Coordinator
Trust Bereavement Coordinators enhance the experience of dying and bereaved people by supporting staff to implement the bereavement care standards within health and social care settings. They advise DoH, contributing to regional consultations relating to dying, death and bereavement. They liaise with statutory organisations e.g the Coroners Service, universities and voluntary/community organisations to promote partnership working and collaboration.
Coordinators also develop regional guidance and information e.g. bereavement booklets, hospital body transfer forms, post-mortem (PM) examination consent forms and booklets. They design and deliver training programmes on care after death, including grief and bereavement and PM examination consent.
Each Coordinator oversees a Trust Bereavement Forum, chaired by a senior manager, that prioritises and facilitates actions to implement the bereavement care standards. These Fora comprise health and social care staff from a range of disciplines who provide care and support to dying and bereaved people in all circumstances. Service users and relevant community/voluntary organisations are also represented. The work of the Forum includes the implementation of service improvement initiatives, for example, resources, policy, web pages and training to guide, assist and support staff in their practice.
You are welcome to contact Trust Bereavement Coordinators for further information, advice and guidance; or to provide feedback on the web site Contact details