Summary of report content
Healthwatch Darlington conducted an online survey with 61 respondents looking at the current situation of bereavement services to identify any gaps in provision.
It was found that friends and family are a good resource, although, people also seek help from GPs, hospice and counseling services. A small number of people found that bereavements services offered in Darlington, could be counterproductive. However, this is a small sample and males were severely underrepresented, so their views may be different from other people's. A service is needed and appreciated by people who are bereaved and although many people manage to cope with the help of social support, some do need additional help.
Therefore, recommendations have been made referring to three levels of implementation. Level 1 includes the need for a basic understanding and awareness of grief reactions in the public, private and voluntary and community sectors in Darlington, due to the lack of provision for our residents with the use of generic materials such as leaflets. Level 2 includes the need to introduce bereavement counseling within the mental health services offered in Darlington, such as Talking Changes. Level 3 includes that commissioners, providers, funders and key stakeholders in Darlington need to take note of the levels of bereavement support that is needed for our community and understand how much the provision is valued by those that need it most, so that grief does not manifest itself into a mental or physical health issue.
The Darlington CCG has provided a response.