Bereavement in Hospital

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Read our Bereavement Booklet here

How can we help?

We provide sensitive, sympathetic support and assistance to the individual needs of bereaved relatives and carers to help them through the procedures following the death of a patient at the hospital.

Our service includes working with medical and nursing colleagues to ensure the prompt completion of all the necessary paperwork after a death as well as explaining to the bereaved how to register a death, how to find a Funeral Director or arrange a funeral without a Funeral Director.

We work very closely with the Coroner's Service, the Plymouth Registration Service and local Funeral Directors to ensure the bereaved have access to all the information and services they require.

Families are seen on an appointment basis; although we will always try and respond to urgent requests for assistance.

Our aim is to provide the bereaved with all relevant legal documentation and the return of any personal belongings as quickly as possible after the death occurred; so as not to delay the release of the deceased to the nominated Funeral Director

Our publication ‘Help for Bereaved Relatives’ is available to relatives and provides useful and helpful information, at what is often a difficult and distressing time.

The service we offer

  • Arranging completion of the Medical Certificates for the Cause of Death to be issued by the medical staff or to arrange for the death to be reported to the coroner if necessary
  • Meeting with the Bereaved families to hand over the Medical Certificate for the Cause of Death and personal belongings, and guide them through the registration process and arranging the funeral
  • Arranging for the family to see their loved one in the Sir Jules Thorn Viewing Suite
  • Emotional support to family, friends and extended relatives
  • Liaising with hospital staff, mortuary, Coroners and General Practitioners
  • Signposting advice from the Department of Work and Pensions
  • Tracing next of kin

Bereavement support is available from the time of death up until the next of kin decide they no longer require that support.

Contact our Bereavement Team

We can be contacted between 9.15 am and 4.30 pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays) on 01752 439492 or 01752 439743.

In order to prevent unnecessary journeys we do ask that you do not attend the department without a prior appointment being made by the Bereavement Officer, as circumstances sometimes mean that all the necessary paperwork will not be available that day.

Bereavement Support

The Bereavement Counseling Service (BCS) is a charity which offers specialist bereavement counseling in response to complicated grief and traumatic loss. The therapists have specialist knowledge, training and experience and work under regular professional supervision.

The BCS is based in Plymouth (UK) and is partially funded by the Clinical Commissioning Group which covers Plymouth and some of Devon. With fund raising support it is possible for some clients to receive their counseling without charge.

Find out more about the service and how to access it on their website.

Free tribute service for bereaved relatives

MuchLoved is a charity web site where you can create a free personal tribute to your loved one, find support and grief resources, create a fundraising tribute and post a funeral details notice etc. if you wish to.

Privacy is protected and you can have just family and friends who are able to access, or, make it an open tribute . MuchLoved offers a varied selection of tribute styles to suit all families

Other Useful Contacts

CRUSE Bereavement Care

Offering free and confidential one-to-one support for bereaved people, friendship support groups; training in bereavement awareness leading to recognised accreditation. CRUSE also offer a dedicated website for young people affected by bereavement which is accessible via

Contact Position National - 0844 477 9400
Telephone           Devon - 0300 330 5466

Jeremiah's Journey

Jeremiah's Journey offers support to bereaved children and their families who live in Plymouth or the immediate surrounding area. The main part of their service is to run a short term therapeutic group programme.   

Telephone     01752 424348

The Jolly Dollies Social Network for Widows

Widows Group The Jolly Dollies are an organisation started by widows for widows whose main objective is to help widows regain a social life through friendship and organised social events. Their aim is to connect widows locally and nationally, so that The Jolly Dollies network can reach all those widows who want and deserve to have a full, happy and supportive social life.

Contact Name            Yvonne Vann
Contact Position        Founder member The Jolly Dollies Social Network for Widows
Telephone                  01934 624104

Plymouth Samaritans

To talk to someone who is trained to listen, contact the Plymouth Samaritans.

Telephone                  01752 221666 (24 hours)
Website                     The Samaritans of Plymouth, East Cornwall and South West Devon

(24 hour telephone service offering compassionate and confidential support)
Telephone:                  08457 90 90 90

The Royal British Legion Area Office

Are available to help support serving and ex members of the armed forces community and their dependants. They can provide advice, information and support on:
Benefits/low income
War Disablement Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
Debt and financial concerns
Physical and mental health
Drug and alcohol addiction
Relationship breakdown and domestic abuse

Telephone      0808 802 8080

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