NHS 75 Staff Bereavement Support by Jules Lewis

We are delighted to bring you this Guest Blog by Jules Lewis from The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust highlighting their wonderful initiative to provide bereavement support for NHS staff.

NHS 75 – Staff Bereavement Support – You can’t pour from an empty cup

Hello my name is Jules and I am a Swan End of Life Care Lead Nurse and PhD Student working and living in Shropshire. I am also an Ambassador for the Academy of Fabulous Stuff and The Good Grief Trust.

As part of my privileged role I have set up an NHS staff bereavement support service with support from the team, this includes the OWEN Model. Copyright to SaTH. This was implemented during the pandemic in 2020.

Openness, Wellbeing, Empathy, New Beginnings

This bereavement support includes 121 support, a safe space for NHS staff to talk and be heard, support and signposting as appropriate.

We also signpost our staff to our staff bereavement support cafés for ongoing peer support. The cafés are run every other month in alternative hospital sites, our Lead Swan End of Life Care Volunteer supports this work and bakes beautiful cakes for the staff who attend. Real friendships have formed at these cafes and our Chaplaincy Team also support.

We are always thinking of ways to improve this service and the bereavement support we offer to our valued NHS staff at the hardest of times. Feedback to date is excellent, staff really value the support and signposting, and this evidence has been presented at improvement huddles and other meetings.

Our staff are our greatest asset and it is so important we look after them, so they can look after others.

Sit With Hope Bench Plaques

I am delighted to say that we are also placing 25 ‘Help and Hope in One Place’ plaques on benches at our hospitals to support staff, patients and visitors. This wonderful initiative by The Good Grief Trust enables people to access their bereavement support signposting service via the QR code on the plaque.

Jules Lock, lead Swan End of Life Care Volunteer and housekeeper Marie Daniels

And finally…

I will leave you with a poem by Brendon Feeley. Permission given to share this poem. This is gifted to the staff when they have support and attend the cafes.

Thank you for reading this blog.

Jules Lewis

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