Bereavement Care

Our Service

If you are visiting this section of the website following the death of someone important to you, please accept our sincere condolences. Sometimes it is easier to talk to someone you do not know about how you are feeling or what you want to do. A list of helpful organisations that can give you practical advice, support and counselling, whether you need it now or in the future can be found here: Bereavement Information And Support Organisations.

The HSC Bereavement Network website – has been developed to provide information, guidance and resources for those who care for and support people around the time of death and bereavement. The website also provides support information for bereaved people.

Services of Remembrance

Services of Remembrance are held within the Western Trust annually for parents and families of children and babies who have died. Altnagelvin and South West Acute Hospital both hold a service during Sands Awareness Week in October each year.  A service is also held each year in November to support relatives and friends of those who have died within Altnagelvin Critical Care Unit.  The dates and times of these services are available on this Trust website and in the local press.

Books of Remembrance

Books of Remembrance for babies and children are available in Altnagelvin Hospital and South West Acute Hospital, Enniskillen. Many parents and family members choose to write a message in memory of their baby or child, which is then entered into the Book of Remembrance. There is no time limit for inclusion of a message. If you would like to do this or to view the Books of Remembrance please contact the Trust Bereavement Coordinator or contact the Maternity department in either hospital (contact details below).

Information Booklets

These booklets have been written to support adults and children coping with bereavement and to help them understand their grief.

‘When Someone Close To You Dies’ – Helpful information on living and coping with bereavement which may be useful to you in the weeks and years ahead.

Bereavement Care Books for Adult and Children

A Guide for Talking with and Supporting Children – Written for parents and carers to explain children’s and adolescents’ understanding of and response to death. Contains useful information for telling children about the death of someone close and ways to help support children following a death. Includes helpful suggestions on talking with children about the death of someone close and how to help support children following the death.

Dealing with Sudden Death: Common Grief Reactions – The effects of traumatic bereavement are unique for each individual and can vary in nature and intensity.  The four information booklets below have been developed to support individuals, families and communities when they experience a sudden death.

Dealing with Sudden Death: In Adulthood

Dealing with Sudden Death: Helping Children And Adolescents 

Dealing with Sudden Death: Information For Young People

Information And Guidance After The Death Of A Relative Or Friend In A Nursing Or Residential Home


Bereaved by Suicide – Bereaved by Suicide newly developed resources consisting of a booklet and poster outlining the meeting details on the five local Bereaved by Suicide support groups across the Western Trust.

Evidence shows that support groups are a powerful and constructive way for people to help both themselves and others. The coming together of those similarly bereaved, regardless of when the death occurred, can provide the opportunity to be with other people who can really understand. They have been through the same experience and can offer the opportunity to gain strength and understanding from the individuals within the group.

The Freephone Bereavement Service 0800 085 2463 enables you to: Report a death to the Social Security Agency; Check if you may be entitled to benefits/financial help; Make a claim for Bereavement Benefits and make a claim for a Social Fund Funeral Payment. See the leaflet here.

The Western Trust Bereavement Coordinator Carole McKeeman, works with staff to promote bereavement care, standards and training across the Western Trust (contact details below).

Feedback: We hope you find this resource useful. If you would like to comment on it or suggest improvements we will be pleased to hear from you. If you wish to give feedback about the care provided to your loved one or about your own experience of bereavement care within the Western Trust, please get in touch by contacting Carole Mc Keeman – Trust Bereavement Coordinator (contact details below).

Lifeline Crisis Response (0808 808 8000)  If you, or someone you know, is in distress or despair, no matter what your age or where you live in Northern Ireland, Lifeline is there to help you. Lifeline counsellors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to listen and give you the help and support you need, in confidence. Calls are  free from all UK landlines and mobiles.

Further Resources

Locations where this service is delivered


Carole Mc Keeman - Trust Bereavement Coordinator

Call us02871345171 or ext.: 214184

Book of Rememberance - Altnagelvin Area Hospital

Maternity Department, Altnagelvin Area Hospital, Glenshane Road, Derry/Londonderry, BT47 6SB

Call us02871345171

Book of Rememberance - South West Acute Hospital

Maternity Department, 147 Irvinestown Road, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, BT74 6DN

Call us02866382000