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Simple and powerful: a consultant and governance-led bereavement service

Abstract

Background Following bereavement, families can be left with unanswered questions or issues of concern. We piloted a bereavement service model which was consultant and governance-led with the aim to reduce complaints, reduce litigation, reduce coroners' inquests and support families.

Methods Following the death of a patient, the next of kin was sent an invitation. Those that responded were offered a 1-hour appointment with a consultant, senior sister and a member of the governance team. Notes were taken to track themes and feedback sheets were introduced to gauge the usefulness of the service to families.

Results Of 121 invitations sent out, 18 families (14.8%) used the service. Two families had already sought legal advice. Neither acted further. 44% said they would have made a complaint if the service had not been available. 78% stated that they had obtained closure.

Conclusion A bereavement service model which is consultant and governance led may reduce complaints and reduce litigation.

  • bereavement
  • death
  • litigation
  • complaints
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