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Service that has supported 4,000 people after the death of loved ones to celebrate fifth Birthday

Staff at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) will mark the fifth year of the Royal Lancaster Infirmary’s (RLI) bereavement service with a week of events.

The drop-in events, which are at the RLI and open to staff and the public, are:

Tuesday 21 August

  • 11am – 12pm and 12pm-1pm, Bereavement support for children’s deaths – Tigerlily, Seminar Room 2, Education Centre
  • 1pm – 2pm and 2pm-3pm – Lancaster Islamic Society – Q&A, Seminar 2, Education centre.

Thursday 23 August

  • 10am – 11am, The role of the Macmillan Clinical Nurse Specialist in Palliative Care – Elaine Hemingway, Seminar room 2, Education Centre
  • 11am – 12pm, What do you talk about over coffee with Ian Dewer, Seminar room 2, Education Centre
  • 12 – 1pm, Q&A – Ascension Funeral Director, Seminar room 2, Education Centre
  • 1pm – 2pm and 2pm-3pm – Q&A – Lancaster Islamic Society, Seminar room 2 Education centre
  • 3pm-4pm – What is a Bereavement Midwife, Q&A with Celia Sykes and Becky Bleackley, Seminar room 2, Education centre.

The bereavement service was opened on 21 August 2013 by Lancaster GP and end of life care lead Dr Peter Nightingale and was the first of its kind for the Trust. The service spans the final hours, weeks and months of a person’s life; as well as the actual day of death and include services for grieving relatives. It brings together staff ranging from porters to consultants and extends to partners such as the police,

the voluntary sector and the coroner’s office. It also offers support for deaths in the community; these will often be unexpected deaths, suicides or the death of a child.

The bereavement team fills in any paperwork, death certificates and cremation papers and offer support to families. They also provide books for children, hand prints, locks of hair, hand casts, prints for jewellery, sudden loss cafes, remembrance services, bereavement bags for property, comfort packs for dying patients and their visitors and forget me not seeds.

On 21 August 2018 the Trust introduced its dignity in death Dragonfly symbol to help identify End of Life patients and show that they and their families may be in need of extra compassion and support. Property bags for bereaved relatives and friends also displays this symbol.

Lindsay Pinch, Bereavement Nurse Specialist, UHMBT, said: “I truly believe end of life care is everyone’s business and we must get it right for every patient every time, irrespective of their place of death. It’s so important to look after the patient’s families as well as our patients at this really hard time. The dragon fly scheme helps us achieve this.

“Quality and the high standard delivery of end of life care to patients and families is so important. The memories of this care stay with those that are left behind and we only have one chance to get this right. The Dragonfly Scheme is a model of best practice and I hope it further facilitates excellence.

“I feel honored and privileged to be involved with the patients and families I meet in the most difficult of times. I am beyond proud of the work the bereavement service does.”

A patient, who used the service at the RLI, said: “The support we received from the bereavement service following the stillbirth of our first child was invaluable. They organised appointments, offered support and empathy and helped keep our heads above water when it felt like we would drown in grief. They offer an invaluable essential service and we will forever be indebted to them

“Lindsay was there for me and my family from a couple of days after we lost our son, she tried to take all pressure from us and went far beyond the duties of her job title to help us in any way she could. She guided us through the funeral process and helped us make the right decisions and now even 15 months on, Lindsay still checks in on us and has become more of a friend! I’ll never forget her kindness and empathy.”

Furness General Hospital’s Bereavement Service opened its doors on 2 March 2015.

The service is supported by Bay Hospitals Charity. Bay Hospitals Charity is a registered charity set up to hold and manage charitable money given to UHMBT’s hospitals. Voluntary donations can really help provide a little bit extra such as additional medical equipment, medical research, specialist training and improvements to patient facilities. It is the generosity of the local communities that

enables the charity enhance and support the Trust’s services, so if you would like to support the charity and make a donation, please visit http://www.bayhospitalscharity.org/ or email charity@mbht.nhs.uk.

If you would like to find out more about the Bereavement Service please contact bereavement.office@mbht.nhs.uk or 01524 512406

 

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