Home > Our publications > Commissioning guides > A guide to commissioning bereavement support in England

Grief is a normal reaction to bereavement and many people find that their inner resources, combined with support from family and friends, are enough to help them manage their distress and the life changes and adjustments triggered by loss. However, general awareness and understanding of grief is often lacking, which can leave bereaved people feeling lost and misunderstood. Bereavement is associated with risks to health and wellbeing and can give rise to a wide range of needs.

Support that help people manage their grief ranges from health promoting community-based resources to more intensive, specialist help for those whose reactions are complex or prolonged, and affect their ability to manage everyday life.

The tragic loss of life and the social restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic worsened experiences of bereavement, and required a joined up approach from communities, services and commissioners to meet people’s needs. This approach is supported by the new partnership opportunities and duties set out in the Health and Care Act 2022, and the principles for change outlined by the UK Commission on Bereavement.

Our new suite of resources builds on these changes to provide communities, services and commissioners with guidance about how to set out and realise a vision that compassionate community bereavement support is in place for everyone that needs it.

Download the resources below

  1. Introduction
  2. The impact, risks and costs of bereavement
  3. How bereavement contributes to health and care outcomes frameworks
  4. The policy context for commissioning bereavement support
  5. What should be available in each area
  6. Identifying local needs and mapping support and gaps
  7. Getting bereavement on the agenda locally
  8. Are we getting it right? Guidance for assessment and evaluation

We are keen to gather feedback on these resources, and your suggestions for further support for bereavement commissioners. Please complete our short survey here.