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Bereavement is one of life’s most painful and difficult experiences. Please let us know if there is any additional help that the hospital staff can offer you.

The following information may be of help to you:

 

Bereavement Officers

The Bereavement Officers will be able to help you find the support you need. They will contact the deceased patients GP to inform them that the death has occurred. Your own GP will also be able to provide appropriate support for you.

 

Medical and Nursing staff

If it would be helpful, the Bereavement Officer can make arrangements for you to see a doctor or nurse who was involved in the care of the person who has died. Such a meeting would usually have to take place at a later date.

 

Chaplaincy

Chaplains are available 24 hours at both hospitals. The nursing staff can contact a chaplain for you or can get in touch with them through the switchboard (Ashford Hospital 01784 884488; St Peter’s Hospital 01932 872000). The chaplains can also help you to make contact with a priest or other religious leader of your choice.

There are multi-faith centres at both hospitals. These are separate from the Chapels of Rest / Viewing Rooms and you may use the centres for quiet and reflection, whether or not you belong to a particular denomination or faith. The Ashford hospital multi-faith centre is opposite Arnold ward. The St Peter’s Hospital centre is on the level 2 corridor, beside the Accident and Emergency Department. Both centres are open all day and security staff can unlock them at night if you wish to use them.

The chaplaincy also offers a very informal ‘Listening service’ to those who have been bereaved. This is not a religious or long-term counselling service, but it could help you if you wish to talk with someone outside your immediate circle of family and friends. Please contact the Chaplaincy on 01932 723324.

 

Services of Thanksgiving

A service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving is held every two months in the St Peter’s Hospital chapel for people who have died at either Ashford or St. Peter’s. The Bereavement Officer will give you an invitation to the Service, which is held on a Sunday afternoon at 4.00pm. You are warmly invited to attend and the names of those who have died and are represented will be especially remembered then. Please contact the Bereavement Officer, at St. Peter’s Hospital, (01932 722319) if you are unable to be present but would still like the person who has died to be included in this simple act of remembrance. A ceremony of Remembrance is held annually, in May or June, to remember children who have died at any age, from early pregnancy to adulthood. For further details please contact the hospital Chaplain on 01932 723324, or the Bereavement Midwife Counsellor on 01932 722879.

 

Macmillan Services

Both hospitals have a Macmillan Nurse Service. A Macmillan Nurse may perhaps have been involved in the care of the patient. You may wish to talk to one of them about issues or concerns you may have or, alternatively, they may help in putting you in touch with other support agencies. The Bereavement Officer can help you contact them if this appropriate.