Hospital Charity Supports Improvements to Bereavement Service


Supporters of a hospital charity have helped improve the experience of families going through the bereavement process.

UHNM Charity has funded refurbishments to a newly opened bereavement suite at the Royal Stoke University Hospital following the introduction of a new processing system.

The improvements mean that all bereavement services at the hospital are now provided under one roof, allowing bereaved families to collect the death certificate, talk to a bereavement officer and register the death at the same time.

Victoria Poole, Bereavement Services Manager at University Hospitals of North Midlands (UHNM) said: “Following the introduction of a new Medical Examiners system, the Bereavement Services Team relocated to a newly revamped bereavement suite in the main building at the Royal Stoke Hospital.”

“Before the move, families were forced to move between rooms and stand whilst we processed their paperwork. We’re delighted that UHNM Charity were able to fund improvements to the suite, and provide a more appropriate, comfortable and sensitive setting for the bereaved.”   

Improvements include the purchase of new furniture and decorations.

The UHNM Bereavement Team deal with the administration of more than 3,500 adult hospital deaths across the Royal Stoke University Hospital and County Hospital each year, and  liaise closely with medics across UHNM as well as external stake holders including the HM Coroners service, Registration service and funeral directors, as well as dealing directly with bereaved relatives.

The Medical Examiners system involves hospital trusts appointing senior doctors to verify clinical information on medical certificates to improve accuracy and consistency.

UHNM are piloting the new system following confirmation from the Department of Health and Social Care that they are introducing the system as part of reforms to the death certification process in England and Wales.   

Steve Rushton, UHNM Charity Manager added: “It’s thanks to our fundraisers and donors that the charity are able to support those families going through the incredibly difficult bereavement process, and make the experience as comfortable as possible.” 

Pictured left to right – Mr Mark Brown (Medical Examiner / Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon), Brogan Hambleton (Bereavement Officer), Victoria Poole (Bereavement Services Manager / Lead Medical Examiners Officer), Samuel Townshend (Deputy Bereavement Manager / Medical Examiners Officer)

If you would like to fundraise for UHNM Charity visit for more information, or call 01782 676444 to speak to one of the UHNM Charity team.