Nhs_choices Bthft Bradford Teaching HospitalsNHS Foundation Trust NHS Choices
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Bradford hospital staff have put together a bereavement survey aimed at providing the very best of holistic care for patients and their grieving families and carers.

The survey has been sensitively and sympathetically compiled and developed by Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s Palliative Care and Chaplaincy teams, led by Last Days of Life Educator, Paul Fernandez and Church of England and Free Church Chaplain, Joe Fielder.

Paul (pictured) said: “As a Trust we are absolutely committed to being compassionate towards our patients and their relatives and carers, especially at difficult times in their lives. The idea of the survey is to capture a sense of how well we have looked after a loved one at the end of their life, at the time of their death and afterwards.

Bereavement support

“It is important for us to hear from relatives and carers about how we respond and if we are offering what they expect and need in terms of end-of-life care and bereavement support.”

Joe added: “There are a number of questions included about culture and spiritual and religious care because it is important that we get this right too. It is vital that families and carers feel that their loved one has been treated with respect and dignity and this survey will help us see how well we have done in communicating clearly at important but yet difficult and often painful times.

“We realise that we have to be very sensitive with a survey of this nature as well as regards to timing as to when we approach people. For some families and carers they may not feel like answering questions soon after the death of a loved one and we completely respect that. Those who want to complete the survey can have as much time as they need to share their views; we will be grateful for any feedback we receive.”

Learn from patients’ experiences

Chief Nurse, Karen Dawber has supported and championed this important work with the Trust. She said: “We want to learn from all of our families’ and patients’ experiences within the hospital so we can build on what has gone well and what we can do even better.

“By developing the survey, we are moving to a more holistic view of the care we provide and this will then directly impact as we strive to provide truly outstanding care.”

The surveys will be part of a new bereavement pack which includes helpful information for families and carers including contacts of invaluable bereavement and counselling services. Initially the surveys will cover three in-patient areas – pre-term and young babies, children and adults – but it is planned to expand them to other areas of the hospital eventually.

The surveys will be given out to families and carers when the time is right.