Grant Impact: Bereavement Suite Refreshments17 September 2021
When a patient dies at our hospitals, our medical examiners (MEs) and clinical medical teams play a crucial role in making sure death certificates are completed correctly and consistently, and supporting bereaved families by talking to them about what’s on the certificate, the care the patient received, and the next steps for the funeral.
Indeed, during the coronavirus pandemic, this was a particularly difficult role to play because sensitive conversations that would have usually been carried out in-person, were moved to telephone calls, and many families, although having been connected to their loved ones by mobile phones or iPads, may have said goodbye in person in an ambulance.
For our MEs and clinical medical teams this was a particularly challenging and harrowing time and Dr. Nigel Kennea, the lead ME at St George’s Hospital, was one of the first to realise the impact this role had on the clinical team, especially the junior doctors. As a result he went above and beyond to find ways to support the team, and one way in particular was requesting staff refreshments for the bereavement suite. Thanks to your donations we were able to provide this support and fund this for team.
Dr. Nigel Kennea said how the refreshments provided “support to the clinical teams, mainly junior doctors, when they come down to help the bereaved with timely Death Certification and Coroner’s referral. The MEs also speak and support bereaved families and so refreshments in the office are really helpful in supporting the team alongside doing this important task.”
He also shared with the BBC that: “these conversations with families are when life stories are told and memories shared. There is often laughter too” and so, with your continued support, providing these refreshments at a particularly difficult time helps support our staff wellbeing, as well as the families of our patients.
We can’t thank you enough.