Government should better support the bereaved with bereavement bubbles

According to new research by Sue Ryder, grieving families should be allowed to create 'bereavement bubbles' as the ‘rule of six’ comes into force.  


The charity surveyed 503 bereaved adults and found that two-thirds (62 per cent) felt isolated, while 59 per cent felt as though their grief had been forgotten.

Two-thirds said that being able to form a support bubble would be a 'vital source of support' as they grieved. 

The charity is urging the Government to loosen the rules in situations where a family member has died so that relatives can support one another. 

Quoted in The Daily Mail a spokesman for the charity said it hopes 'the government extends the current support bubble policy to include bereaved people with more than one adult in the household to form a support bubble with any other household, without the need for social distancing.’ 

Carolyn Harris, MP for Swansea East, is backing the call in a letter to the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock. She said: 'Grief is extremely complex – even without the added anxieties of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown. For many people who have been bereaved since lockdown began, this has been an incredibly isolating time. The ability to form a bereavement support bubble without the need for social distancing could make a huge impact for someone who is grieving.'

The research also found some 62 per cent felt the nation has become 'desensitised to death' amid the coronavirus pandemic, in which thousands of people have died. 

A tragic 55 per cent feel their loved ones' deaths became 'just a statistic'. It is not clear if this was in relation to Covid-19 deaths or deaths more broadly. 

Sue Ryder has seen a spike in demand for its bereavement support services, including online video counselling and an online community forum. 

Chief executive Heidi Travis said: 'Integral and deeply personal elements of the bereavement journey have been disrupted for so many over the last few months due to social distancing measures.

So many people have been unable to say goodbye to those who have died, they have then had to grieve in isolation, without the physical presence or touch of those close to them.' 

This is clearly a very difficult time for the bereaved, which is why we supportive of this initiative. With the UK’s death rate higher than usual due to coronavirus we also believe that it is critical that organisations don’t add to the distress already felt by people that have recently lost loved ones. This is why it is of paramount importance that organisations – whether private or public sector - ensure that when they are communicating with their customers by mail that they carry out stringent data screening checks to remove anyone that has passed away from the mailing list and minimise the risk to causing offense and further distress. Mortascreen, the leading deceased suppression file on the market, is now able to alert organisations of the most recent deaths with records being authenticated and added to the file within just two weeks of the death date. 

For further information please don’t hesitate to contact us.