Support for families
When a child dies, if and when appropriate, a member of our team will introduce themselves to the family as soon as possible.
We can offer a wide range of practical advice and support, including:
- advice and information following the death including explaining some of the formalities involved
- help to answer any questions and take any concerns forward
- facilitation of visiting in the chapel of rest and help with funeral arrangements
- ongoing support through telephone conversations, hospital or home visits or by email
- a wide range of bereavement information leaflets, books and DVDs and information about various local and national bereavement support organisations
Although we do not offer a formal counselling service, we do use our counselling skills all the time and are available should parents or families wish to talk about their child, their feelings and emotions. We do not have open or closed cases and our involvement with families is not time-limited.
Families have told us this ongoing availability is important as they are often made to feel that after a certain length of time they should be over their loss, whereas we are usually able to reassure them they are not abnormal or going mad - but grieving.
Follow-up appointments are co-ordinated with the consultant, a nurse known to the family and the child bereavement team as appropriate. This is to feed back any results, go over the events around the death and answer any questions.
If it is too difficult to return to the hospital we can arrange a home visit with the consultant or at a GP surgery or other suitable venue.
Support for siblings
Research suggests that it is really important to include children and allow them choices when facing the death of a loved one. As a team we can offer:
- advice and support for parents in preparing their other children for the death of their sibling
- story books and information leaflets aimed at parents and children, as well as information about support groups, helplines and websites
- special teddy bears which are given to bereaved siblings. This can often become a real source of comfort over time
We hold a variety of events for bereaved families throughout the year. Including our bereaved parents family day in the summer, annual Christmas services and the CoPIng group (in partnership with Barnardos). The Zephyr's Centre at City Hospital also host a variety of sessions for parents and families who have experienced still birth or baby loss.
For more information about these events please contact: