Bereavement Services Team


Wirral University Teaching Hospital

Major changes took place within the Bereavement Services at Wirral University Teaching Hospital during 2017. As the priority are families of deceased patients, it was decided that something needed to be done about time taken for death certificates and cremation papers to be completed and delivered.

A plan was devised and a 'Listening into Action' event set. A Coroner was invited to feedback on what he thought of the Trust and how it could be improved. The layout of the office was changed, allowing a specific work area for Doctors to complete certificates and cremation papers. A new family room was built and decorated with furniture, kindly supplied by the League of Friends.

The team also implemented a time scale for paperwork to be completed by Dr's, agreed with consultants and amended on the Adult Death Administration Policy. Doctors have reported this new process is much easier and will come up to the office when possible and have tea and coffee, which helps with moral.

Families make appointments the same day as collecting their paperwork, making the time their loved ones are in hospital care a lot less. Before these changes the length of time that families had to wait to collect certificates was much longer, which often caused further distress.

After changing the office opening hours to be more accessible to clinicians and families, this has helped families arrange funerals and allow their loved ones to leave our care sooner. Rather than turning bereaved families away, they can now wait for a time slot the same day.

The Bereavement Team have been awarded the Fab Academy Rosa Parks Award. The award reflects the work of teams within the NHS who are finding inspiring and effective ways of facilitating change.

“Not in our wildest dreams did we think we would win. When they announced our name we were so pleased, astonished and happy. To be shortlisted and then to win a national award was a privilege and we couldn’t have been more pleased” - Marsha Parton-Murphy, Bereavement Services Manager.