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P-3 The bereavement journey: making the right connexions
  1. Julia Russell,
  2. Rebecca Trower and
  3. Anne Cullen
  1. Princess Alice Hospice, Surrey, UK


Background This poster presents a hospice project to improve support for bereaved people, through an integrated approach across Bereavement, Fundraising and Communications departments.

Aims User feedback, evaluations and research showed that: People needed more continuity of support in early bereavement. We need to make it easier for people to access information about commemorating their loved one, though physical or digital memorials, personal challenges or events. We could enhance our care and use of resources by improving coordination between Bereavement and Fundraising.

Methods A cross-departmental project group reviewed existing communication materials and processes and mapped out a coordinated ‘Bereavement Journey’, consisting of seven stages, or points of contact, during the first year of bereavement. Wherever appropriate, stages combine communications about bereavement support and fundraising activities and are sequenced to produce a natural flow. Recipients are invited to indicate their preferences so that communications can be tailored to individual needs and choices. Cards, letters and leaflets were revised and new materials developed, with an appealing, consistent and readily recognisable design. A comprehensive programme of briefing and training was undertaken to prepare for the launch of the new approach.

Results Informal feedback from bereaved people has been that they welcome the continuity of support throughout their personal ‘Bereavement Journey’ and find the materials relevant and appealing. Adopting a cross-departmental approach has improved understanding and confidence between employees and volunteers in our Clinical, Bereavement and Fundraising departments. Formal evaluation of the project will include a customised VOICES survey.

Conclusions This project has enabled us to: Offer timely support to bereaved people throughout their personal bereavement journey. Improve access to information about opportunities for commemorating loved ones through different forms of in memoriam donation and fundraising. Use our resources more efficiently and effectively.

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