Care after death: the grief journey for those bereaved during COVID-19

How a redeployed nursing team supported families affected by visiting restrictions

How a redeployed nursing team supported families affected by visiting restrictions

Debbie Critoph (centre) and Stephanie Smith (right), with Lily Martin, who helped the nurses set up the service for bereaved relatives

Many hospitals made the difficult decision to suspend hospital visiting during the recent lockdown – something particularly difficult for those relatives whose loved ones died during inpatient stays.

Public health measures to slow the spread of the virus left many families grieving alone in a socially disconnected world and health professionals communicating in ways we would not choose.

Unexpected consequences of COVID-19 visiting restrictions

At Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust we followed national guidance to restrict visiting, with some unavoidable consequences.

As the visitor restrictions continued, deceased