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Demonstrate the quality of your bereavement service
  1. Elliott Jane
  1. St Helena Hospice, Colchester, England


Introduction Two bereavement audit tools have been written to enable Hospices to collect crucial data to evidence high quality service provision based on national standards.

Aims To enable hospices to evidence the standard of their bereavement work using high quality audit tools.

Methods Two audit tools were written by a collaborative group of bereavement service co-ordinators and audit professionals from different hospices. The tools fit together but look at different aspects of bereavement: the first enables audit of a bereavement service and the second audits bereavement care. It was an interesting challenge/struggle for the authors to understand these two different aspects of bereavement service provision when developing the tools.

Discussion Within current health policy the tools enable hospices to look at how they might provide evidence to address the QIPP agenda and to be commissioned for services.

In anticipation of GP commissioners looking for good value, having audit data available provides tangible evidence of the work of the bereavement service.

Although bereavement care is acknowledged within Palliative care definitions it is only recently that the Department Of Health have recognised this – publication of ‘When A Patient Dies’ and the End Of Life Care Strategy, but there are no quality markers published within initial EOLC quality markers.

The tools are referenced to all available National standards, have been piloted and reviewed assuring users of their quality. This quality has been recognised by other, non-hospice, organisations who have expressed interest in using the tools, as the key principles are transferrable.

Conclusion We encourage Hospices who do not have a bereavement service, as well as those who do, to use the tools. It will enable them to demonstrate the quality of their bereavement service and may assist them in identifying gaps and plan service developments.

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