Friday 3rd November 2017

Bereavement Service Launches To Support Families

Glasgow Children's Hospital Charity is proud to fund a dedicated bereavement service in partnership with NHSGGC and Child Bereavement UK to provide vital support for parents and siblings facing or following the death of their baby or child.

The charity is funding a new service at a cost of £110,000 per year, with the aim of providing immediate and long-term support to the families and helping them to begin to rebuild their lives after the devastation of child bereavement.

The project, now in operation at the hospital and at a dedicated site in Maryhill, will be delivered by Child Bereavement UK with plans for a dedicated telephone helpline and family, individual, couple and group support.

Shona Cardle, Chief Executive, Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “For parents, the death of a child is simply unimaginable. Sadly, it can become a reality for some of the families at the hospital, and it is crucial that structured support is available for them at such a difficult time. 

“At Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity we are privileged to have the support of many families who have lost a child. Through our work with them it became clear that there was an undeniable need for this service. We’re proud to be partnering with Child Bereavement UK and NHSGGC for this vital project, which will benefit parents, siblings and families during the most traumatic times of their lives.”

Michael Angus lost his six-year-old son Christopher in 2014 and is an In-Memory supporter of Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity. 

He said: “A bereaved parent is equally as traumatised as someone who has lost a limb in an accident. To make matters worse, the disability that a bereaved parent carries is hidden. It is invisible - but no less crippling.

One would not expect someone who had lost their limbs to forge their own prosthetic and learn how to walk again. But that is effectively what is has been like. Families are destroyed by the death of a child and have to learn how to live all over again; they have to learn how to walk again. I’ve had to do so, pretty much unaided, and I’m still learning. When a child dies, the care for the child stops; the care then for the parents should then begin.”

Support will not be limited solely to families – NHSGGC staff are also set to receive training to improve their skills in caring for bereaved families, as well as having access to support if they are affected by the death of a baby or child in their care. 

Dr Ann Rowland, Director of Bereavement Support and Education at Child Bereavement UK, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with NHSGGC and Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity to ensure that all NHSGGC staff have the skills, knowledge and support they need to meet the needs of bereaved families, and that those families receive the best possible support and care through what will undoubtedly be one of the most difficult times in their lives following the death of their precious baby or child.”  

Kevin Hill, Director of Women and Children’s Services within NHSGGC, said: “The death of a child is something which is unthinkable and has a significant impact on any family facing it.  This new service has been developed to give the best support we can to parents and families in these saddest of circumstances. It will also equip our staff to deal with this in a caring and professional way.”

To speak to a member of the hospital's Bereavement Service, please call 07795 195 368.

To find out more about our work at Scotland's largest children's hospital click here >  

 

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