Background At St Mary’s Hospice we recognise grief is unique and individual to the person, but also to each loss. Grieving experiences are unique and can be experienced in different ways. As a hospice we previously adopted the traditional way of formally supporting people who have been bereaved through telephone or face-to-face appointments, however, many people who are bereaved and consider support, choose not to access these traditional services due to their own individual way of grieving and limited alternative support services. As a hospice we recognised it was time to change and develop in line with emerging needs recognising that one size doesn’t fit all.
Aim Our aim was to develop a range of bereavement support options for people to access in a hope to reach out to more people. Our aim was to increase the number of people receiving support from our service by 30% over a two-year period.
Method Over a two-year period we have developed a broader range of bereavement support services that has scope to encompass individual ways of grieving. These include the traditional one-to-one and telephone support as well as innovative support systems such as a bereavement online support group, monthly bereavement café, Make, Do and Mend, bereavement craft groups as well as offering advice and support sessions at the local library on a weekly basis.
Results We have now established a broader range of bereavement support services and are delighted to be supporting substantially more people. In May 2017 our service caseload for people accessing the service was 96 and by May 2019 this rose to 250 which confirms a 160% increase in support being provided.
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