GRIEVING families in Bradford are to be given a new bereavement survey to help hospital chiefs develop the best future care to those who lose loved ones.

The sensitive survey has been sympathetically put together by Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s Palliative Care and Chaplaincy teams, led by Last Days of Life Educator, Paul Fernandez and Church of England and Free Church Chaplain, Joe Fielder.

The Trust is hoping the survey will help give it an idea of how well patients have been looked after towards the end of their life, at the time of their death and afterwards.

Mr Fernandez said: “As a Trust we are absolutely committed to being compassionate towards our patients and their relatives and carers, especially at difficult times in their lives. The idea of the survey is to capture a sense of how well we have looked after a loved one at the end of their life, at the time of their death and afterwards.

“It is important for us to hear from relatives and carers about how we respond and if we are offering what they expect and need in terms of end-of-life care and bereavement support.”

And Mr Fielder added: “There are a number of questions included about culture and spiritual and religious care because it is important that we get this right too. It is vital that families and carers feel that their loved one has been treated with respect and dignity and this survey will help us see how well we have done in communicating clearly at important but yet difficult and often painful times.

“We realise that we have to be very sensitive with a survey of this nature as well as regards to timing as to when we approach people. For some families and carers they may not feel like answering questions soon after the death of a loved one and we completely respect that. Those who want to complete the survey can have as much time as they need to share their views; we will be grateful for any feedback we receive.”

The surveys will now be part of a new bereavement pack which includes helpful information for families and carers including contacts of bereavement and counselling services.

To start with, the surveys will cover pre-term and young babies, children and adult in-patients but will eventually be rolled out wider. The surveys will be given out when the time is right, said Chief Nurse, Karen Dawber.