© Crown copyright 2021
This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. To view this licence, visit nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3 or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: email@example.com.
Where we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned.
This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/steps-to-take-following-the-death-of-a-person-who-worked-in-adult-social-care-in-england/bereavement-resources-for-the-social-care-workforce
Losing someone close to you, whether it’s a family member, friend or colleague, can be devastating. This loss may be especially difficult during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic because you may not have been able to spend time with your loved one due to infection risks or may have been unable to say goodbye in the way you would have wanted.
Working in the social care sector, you may also grieve the loss of residents or care users, particularly those with whom you had a longstanding and meaningful relationship. This may be made more difficult if you cannot share details about work with your friends and family.
People grieve in different ways and there is no right or wrong way to react. When you’re grieving for someone, you may experience a range of emotions, including sadness, anger and guilt. You may also find it difficult to concentrate or experience a lack of motivation. You may experience these emotions immediately, or they may occur at a later stage. Many people find it helpful to reach out and talk to someone about their feelings, other may wish to deal with the loss in private.
A life assurance scheme has been launched for eligible frontline health and care workers during the coronavirus pandemic. Families of eligible workers who die from coronavirus contracted in the course of their frontline essential work will receive a £60,000 payment. Information about the scheme and how to make a claim can be found on the NHS Business Services Authority website.
We hope that the resources gathered here may help you during this very difficult time.
Bereavement resources for social care workers
The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) gives support and guidance around bereavement, including good practice for managing leave, suggested processes for when a member of staff dies and a template bereavement policy.
At a Loss
The At a Loss signposting website for the bereaved directs you to information and local services appropriate to your loss.
Cruse Bereavement Care
Cruse Bereavement Care offers telephone, email and online support for anyone who has experienced a loss.
0808 808 1677
Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dying Matters is a coalition of individual and organisational members across England and Wales, aiming to help people talk more openly about dying, death and bereavement.
The Good Grief Trust
The Good Grief Trust signposts to a choice of immediate tailored local and national support, including coronavirus bereavement advice.
- guidance on the health and wellbeing of the adult social care workforce
- guidance on practical elements of bereavement including applying for probate, registering a death, informing DVLA, benefits, support and tax
Hospice UK has a confidential adult social care bereavement and trauma support line.
It’s free to call:
0300 303 4434 (8am to 8pm, Monday to Sunday)
Speak to a specialist counsellor who can support you if you’ve experienced a bereavement, have witnessed traumatic deaths as part of your work or need to discuss any other anxiety or emotional issues you are experiencing as a result of coronavirus.
Interfaith has guidance from faith communities and faith community organisations on funeral rites and practices during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mind has information on understanding grief and bereavement (including from suicide), how to manage, and where to get help.
Samaritans has a free confidential support line:
0300 131 7000 (7am to 11pm Monday to Sunday)
Or text FRONTLINE to 85258 at any time.
It includes coaching, bereavement, mental health, family, legal, benefits and debt help.
Samaritans also has information about suicide, including what to look for, what to do, how to have difficult conversations and general support.
Stay Alive is an app for those at risk of suicide and those worried about someone.
Sudden has coronavirus-specific guidance on grief and supporting yourself or someone else, particularly during social distancing and on memorialising someone during social distancing.
Sue Ryder offers online bereavement support, including an online bereavement counselling service.
Trade unions may offer resources to support workers in the social care sector experiencing trauma and bereavement (for example Unison).
Widowed and Young
Widowed and Young offers support to people under 50 who have lost a partner.
More resources for leaders and managers
The King’s Fund
The King’s Fund has written an article about why compassionate leadership is vital during the coronavirus outbreak and simple things leaders in health and social care can do.
Mindtools gives practical advice on leading grieving team members, including acknowledging feelings, showing empathy, avoiding giving prescriptive advice and ensuring, as far as possible, that people’s workloads don’t become overwhelming.
Oscarkilo offers resources on the psychological impact of dealing with death and bereavement on police officers, staff and emergency services workers (easily accessible and applicable to anyone working in health and social care). It includes practical advice, alongside ‘do’s and don’ts’ for leaders and managers.