Phyllis Tuckwell is well-known for the invaluable compassionate care it offers to local people who are living with an advanced or terminal illness, and the support it provides for them in their last days. But more than that, it also offers bereavement support to the families of its patients.

Every day Phyllis Tuckwell supports local patients, offering medical and nursing care, therapies, counselling, social work advice and practical support. It has a dedicated team of Counsellors and also a Pastoral Care team, all of whom are available for its patients to talk to throughout their illness. But Phyllis Tuckwell doesn’t just see the needs of its patients – it understands that each patient’s relatives and carers also need support, both during their loved one’s illness and in bereavement.

The death of a loved one is always hard, but the Coronavirus pandemic has made a difficult situation even worse. Families and friends face restricted visiting regulations in hospitals and hospices, are often unable to spend precious time with their loved one to say their goodbyes, or even to attend their funerals.

Phyllis Tuckwell wants to ensure that bereaved families are supported through this difficult time. It has increased the telephone contact it offers, and has created a support pack tailored to dealing with bereavement during the pandemic. Individual telephone counselling sessions and the opportunity to have their loved one’s name added to Phyllis Tuckwell’s Remembrance Book can provide immediate comfort and support, while invitations to bereavement groups for children and families, and to a remembrance service, all of which will be held once government advice deems it safe to meet up again, offer the reassurance of longer term support into the future.

During the Coronavirus pandemic, in addition to the support for their own patients’ families, Phyllis Tuckwell has extended access to its bereavement services. The NHS is able to refer other families of patients who have died with a chronic underlying health condition or advanced illness, which had been further complicated by Coronavirus, to receive bereavement support from Phyllis Tuckwell.