New bereavement support service for MK residents

Thursday 23 July 2020

A bereavement support service has been set up to help families whose loved ones have died in MK care homes during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The new service, which is available from this month, is also open to those working in any of MK’s 43 care homes.

Funded by Milton Keynes Council and run by Willen Hospice, the service offers one to one personalised grief counselling.  It also provides an online chat service for people to talk to a trained professional about how they are feeling and to seek advice.  Experts at Willen can also suggest helpful ways to remember and pay tribute to loved ones.

All care homes in Milton Keynes are run by private companies, charities, and independent organisations.  During the pandemic, Milton Keynes Council has shared more than £2m of funding with care homes and put in significant work to ensure they have access to PPE (personal protective equipment).  MK’s quality of care is ranked above the national average.

Cllr Hannah O’Neill, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “We really value the incredible level of support that care homes have provided to residents and their families during this pandemic.  By partnering with Willen Hospice we can now offer this additional support to help people who are coping with the loss of a loved one.  We hope this will help people to navigate their own personal journey through grief.”

Peta Wilkinson, Willen Hospice Chief Executive, said: “This unprecedented pandemic has meant care homes are dealing with bereavement on a scale they’ve never seen before.  Our trained experts are perfectly positioned to offer the additional support that people might need.  We’re delighted that the council has recognised our expertise in this area, and it’s a pleasure to partner with them to widen our support to help more people in our community.”

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