How a chat and a cuppa with a consultant cuts complaints

Including doctors in bereavement meetings following a patient's death in hospital helps reduce complaints and litigation: UK study

A bereavement service with doctors from the patient's medical team and from the treating institution can reduce complaints and litigation, as well as support families, according to a pilot UK study.

A team from Medway NHS Foundation Trust, Gillingham, piloted a bereavement service with the aim of reducing complaints, litigation and coronial inquests, and supporting families.

Over the eight-month pilot period, the bereavement service sent 121 invitation letters to next-of-kin on the first working day after the death of a surgery patient.

Overall, 18 families (15%) used the service.

During the one-hour meeting, families were encouraged to tell their story, specific questions were addressed, and any issues of concern were explored further.

Participants agreed upon any further action, and families received anonymous feedback forms.

The consultant answered clinical questions, and