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Bereavement Counselling

Volume 474: debated on Thursday 3 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether he will take into account (a) commitments made in the Department of Health’s Action Plan in response to the National Audit of Epilepsy Related Death 2003 and (b) the recommended good practice of support to the suddenly bereaved in the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guideline on the Epilepsies 2004 in providing a revised version of the Charter for the Bereaved. (198763)

The draft Charter for Bereaved People for a reformed coroner system takes account of relevant Government commitments and the many helpful and constructive comments made in response to previous consultations. The draft charter describes the services the bereaved can expect to receive from the coroners' service, and contains guidance on how the availability of support and bereavement services should be brought to their attention. I will be issuing the draft charter for further consultation in the early summer.

The charter is an important way to ensure minimum national standards of service to bereaved families throughout England and Wales. The charter also expects coroners for a particular area to provide information to families on the main local voluntary groups which they are aware of, including those groups which offer support to those who have been bereaved as a result of sudden death in epilepsy or through other particular causes.