National Bereavement Alliance: A Guide to Commissioning Bereavement Services in England

Tags: Guidance, Toolkit

10th June 2021



National Bereavement Alliance Screenshot 2021 05 17 121356

The extract below is the introduction from a guide published by The National Bereavement Alliance in August 2017. For the full guide please download the pdf attachment.

For more details on the National Bereavement Alliance please go to their website


“I live in a community where everybody recognises that we all have a role to play in supporting each other in times of crisis and loss. People are ready, willing and confident to have conversations about living and dying well and to support each other in emotional and practical ways.”
Ambitions for Palliative and End of Life Care: A national framework for local action 2015-2020

“Any commissioning plans must encompass good bereavement and prebereavement care, including care for children and young people.’”
The End of Life Care Commissioning Toolkit

This document aims to help commissioners prepare tender specifications for area-based bereavement services for expected and unexpected deaths. Commissioning for integrated bereavement care can be challenging because it spans the responsibilities of health and social care across end of life care, carers’ support, maternity services, mental health services, suicide prevention, emergency preparedness, emotional wellbeing and services for specific groups.

Comprehensive frameworks exist for commissioning end of life care and support following suicide, and these are key resources for commissioning bereavement services. This document complements these resources by providing a specific focus on bereavement and bereavement services. It contains:

• an overview of the need for bereavement services
• requirements for local bereavement care
• quality standards and evaluation methods
• an overview of national policy in relation to bereavement services
• appendices mapping bereavement care against the Health and Social Care Outcomes Frameworks.

How to use this guide

As a commissioner
Many different types of commissioners (eg adults and children, specialized commissioners, local authority public health) may hold responsibility for
bereavement services. If you are preparing a tender document, we suggest you read the background and requirements sections, and then read the national policy areas that are relevant to your specific circumstances.
As a provider

We suggest you read the requirements section, and then the national policy areas that are relevant for the tender you are preparing. The outcomes frameworks in the appendices will help you to map your work against health and social care outcomes.

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