Lynne Neagle MS, Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing
Today, I am pleased to announce the launch of the National Framework for the Delivery of Bereavement Care in Wales. It sets out how in Wales we can respond to those who are facing or have experienced a bereavement.
Bereavement can be defined as the sorrow you feel or the state you are in when a relative or close friend dies. Bereavement is associated with elevated risks to mental health, morbidity and mortality, and services that provide bereavement support can be vital in managing these risks. Bereavement support can also reduce the emotional, physical and mental impact of grief.
Our bereavement framework seeks to support commissioners and providers to understand their responsibilities to ensure the provision of equitable and timely access to high quality bereavement care and support to the local population. It includes a set of bereavement standards and offers a general person centred aid to planning, commissioning and delivering bereavement care.
A wide range of statutory and voluntary partners were involved in its development including those who have experienced a bereavement themselves. The framework was subject to an 8-week consultation earlier this year and 65 responses were received and are summarised in the consultation response report being published alongside the framework.
To support the implementation of the framework, we have established a £1m bereavement support grant for our third sector partners. Organisations applying for the grant will need to demonstrate that they are adding value to the existing bereavement support provision across Wales and are addressing identified gaps in bereavement services.
We will also be making an additional £420k available to health boards in 2022-23 and 2023-24 to help with bereavement co-ordination and implementation of the bereavement care standards.
The National Bereavement Steering Group will work with health boards, local authorities, regional partnership boards and the third sector to ensure that the national bereavement framework is implemented at pace, supported by key enablers such as digital infrastructure and a skilled workforce. A robust system of monitoring and evaluation will ensure that the framework and the additional funding outlined above, will deliver the expected benefits for the people of Wales.
Our vision is for a compassionate Wales where everyone has equitable access to high quality bereavement care and support to meet their needs effectively when they need it.