When a person is closely affected by a death, expected or sudden, family members, carers and children should have access to information and support appropriate to their circumstances. This may include staff and volunteers from a variety of health and social care organisations.

Bereavement support may be not be limited to immediately after death, but may be required on a longer-term basis and, in some cases, may begin before death. Support should be culturally and spiritually appropriate, immediate, and available shortly afterwards.

A stepped approach to emotional and bereavement support may be appropriate, which could include but is not limited to:

  • information about local support services
  • practical support such as advice on arranging a funeral, information on who to inform of a death, help with contacting other family members and information on what to do with equipment and medication
  • general emotional and bereavement support, such as supportive conversations with generalist health and social care workers or support from the voluntary, community and faith sectors
  • referral to more specialist support from trained bereavement counsellors or mental health workers.