Thames Hospice expands its bereavement support services

Categories: Care.

Caption: Stevie, who lives in Bracknell, accessed the Hospice’s bereavement counselling services following the death of her husband, Lou

Following a pilot project among local GPs in East Berkshire, Thames Hospice is extending its bereavement support provision.

Last year Thames Hospice provided more than 1,700 counselling and bereavement support sessions to its patients and their loved ones. Every patient at the hospice is offered counselling and pastoral support from a professionally trained team to help them if they are experiencing emotional or psychological difficulties. One-to-one sessions and bereavement group support are available for family members to help them following the death of a loved one.

Following the pilot project and extension of the service, GPs can now also refer bereaved partners, carers and other family members of patients who died outside of the palliative network.

This means that families, whose loved ones will have died from a long-term, life-limiting condition (such as dementia, heart failure, Motor Neurone Disease, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, COPD or cancer) at home, in hospital, in a care home or nursing home will now be able to ask for a referral from their GP for bereavement support at Thames Hospice.

Simon Smith, Head of Patient and Family Support at Thames Hospice, said: “The experience of bereavement and those unresolved complications within bereavement can be extremely stressful.  We are pleased to be able to expand our provision and reach more local people who may need help from our counsellors during this difficult time.”

Stevie lives in Bracknell and accessed the Hospice’s bereavement counselling services following the death of her husband, Lou. Commenting on the value of the support service said:  As hard as it is to pick up the phone and make that call, once you have there is so much help out there.

“If you can just allow yourself to talk it through and let it out, it helps you cope with what you’re feeling and it helps you move on. It doesn’t mean you can’t feel the loss; it just means you can cope with it better.”

To hear Stevie’s full story, visit

To find out more about the counselling services at Thames Hospice, please visit


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