Fri. Nov 27th, 2020

About us

It is almost universally accepted that bereavement support is an integral part of palliative care. The
World Health Organisation, in its 1989 definition, states that palliative care offers a support system
to help the family cope during the patient’s illness and in their own bereavement. Similarly, the
Australian Association for Hospice and Palliative Care’s 1994 definition states that the provision
of hospice and palliative care services includes grief and bereavement support for the family and
other carers during the life of the patient, and continuing after death. These principles, however,
are not universally applied.
A national survey of palliative care services in Britain found that 84% of respondents provided some
type of bereavement follow-up although a further 17% expressed their intention to develop such
services. Of the respondents who already provided bereavement follow-up, 16% identified onward
referrals to other agencies as the strategy used, and only 53% identified activities such as telephone
contacts, personal visits or group sessions and social meetings as their bereavement strategy.
Almost a third (31%) did not respond or did not know the answer to the question on the type of
bereavement support provided.