The extraordinary circumstances of a relative, partner, or friend dying during the COVID-19 pandemic can exacerbate feelings of isolation and affect the grieving process. The King’s College Hospital Charity Bereavement Service offers free telephone and face-to-face support to those affected by grief in these times of uncertainty.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, David Glover and the Palliative Care Team at King’s College Hospital were forced to reconsider their model of bereavement support.
There was much concern about the vulnerabilities facing friends and families at a time when the global pandemic has upended the ways in which we are accustomed to experiencing grief and loss. Zoom funerals, delayed burials, and virtual goodbyes have replaced hugs, wakes, and held hands.
"Around 10% of those affected by grief require additional support" says David. "This could be due to issues such as social isolation, a difficult or dependent relationship with the deceased, or a very unexpected death"
"The COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact upon the work of our team and during this time, the number of people requiring additional bereavement support became much higher than 10%."
In partnership with St Christopher’s Hospice, the King’s College Hospital Charity Bereavement Service was created to provide an additional bereavement support for people who were a friend, partner, or relative of someone who died at King’s College Hospital, Princess Royal University Hospital, or Orpington Hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Bereavement Service was funded by the Charity through the Hospital Heroes Appeal, including grants received from NHS Charities Together.
These generous donations have enabled a tailored counselling service, focused on meeting each individual’s needs.
While social distancing measures are in place, support will be offered using the phone or other virtual tools. When these measures are lifted, support will be offered in convenient locations in Bromley, Lambeth and Southwark.
The service is completely free and available to adults and children and more than one family member can benefit. To read more about our Bereavement service, please ring our confidential helpline on 020 8768 4599 or email firstname.lastname@example.org