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Northern Ireland Bereavement Network Background

Northern Ireland Bereavement Network

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a higher-than-average number of deaths and an increase in the numbers of bereaved people seeking bereavement information and support. In response to the pandemic the Department of Health established a COVID-19 Bereavement Care Workstream in April 2020 to ensure appropriate information and guidance was available to anyone bereaved. This was in recognition of the fact that many of those bereaved may not have been able to grieve in the normal manner, have the usual level of support from family and friends or conduct traditional funerals and associated events in respect of their loved ones.

In October 2020 the Bereavement Care Workstream produced a report, ‘COVID-19 Guidance: Bereavement Advice and Support’ which made a number of key recommendations including that the existing HSC Bereavement Network membership be expanded to include all relevant cross-departmental and community organisations and agencies to become the Northern Ireland Bereavement Network. The NI Bereavement Network is currently chaired by Patricia Donnelly on behalf of the Department of Health.

The following organisations are represented on the Northern Ireland Bereavement Network:

  • HSC Trusts
  • Public Health Agency
  • Patient and Client Council
  • Palliative Care in Partnership
  • NI Medical and Dental Training Agency
  • Department of Health
  • Department of Education
  • Cruse Bereavement Support
  • Sands
  • Marie Curie
  • Age NI
  • The Lighthouse Charity
  • Commission for Older People in NI
  • NI Social Care Council
  • NI Council for Voluntary Action
  • NI Healthcare Chaplains Association
  • National Association of Funeral Directors


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Also in this area