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Joint partnership working between Wigan Council and WWL to improve services for bereaved families

Newsdate: 7 December 2017

Bereaved families in the Wigan and Leigh Borough are benefiting from a joint initiative which demonstrates the effective partnership between the Wigan Council and WWL. By working together, the two organisations have introduced a new service on the Wigan Infirmary site. This new service enables bereaved families, whose loved ones have passed away whilst in hospital, to register their deaths.

In recent months, the two organisations recognised that there was a need for a Registrar to come into the hospital to register the deaths for families who had encountered a stillbirth or neonatal bereavement. They then saw an opportunity to further extend the service for an on-site based Registrar to register deaths that occur at the hospital to help all bereaved families.

Kath Robinson, WWL Mortuary and Bereavement Services Manager: “The new service is an excellent example of partnership working. It has now been up and running for over a month now and has been very well received by our bereaved families who have used it. It has been a great help in turnaround times for families, making the process more efficient and effective, and means that their loved ones can be with their chosen funeral directors a lot sooner.”

Emma Romeling, WWL Senior Anatomical Pathology Technician says: “We have received excellent feedback from the families who use the service as the seamless process helps them on the bereavement journey”.

Barbara Ashcroft, Wigan Council Registration Officer, registered her first death in the registration office today, “The gentleman I attended to this afternoon found it really helpful to be able to register his loved one’s death on the hospital site. This was because he was already familiar with the hospital and he was able to park in the dedicated bereavement car parking and avoided him having to travel and park in Wigan town centre. After his appointment, he was also able to go directly to the ward staff who had looked after his loved one to thank them with a gesture of appreciation. The appointments are also another opportunity to offer the services of our Specialist Bereavement Nurse, Gail Brown. Gail is available either on the telephone or in person and offers guidance and support to bereaved families”.

Lesley O’Halloran, Assistant Director of Customer Services at Wigan Council said: “The bereavement of a loved one is an extremely sensitive time and we want to ensure that the registering of a death is as easy as possible. By working in partnership with the hospital in this way, we hope to continue to meet the needs of our community and provide a personal service.”