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Time to go home: assisting families to take their child home following a planned hospital or hospice death

Publication year
Whittle, M.; Cutts, S.

During the past decade an increasing number of children whose deaths are planned, have died in their own homes. Smaller numbers die in hospitals and children's hospices. A minority of parents has always taken their child home with them after death from hospital or hospice. A survey was carried out to identify the numbers of children who are taken home in this way from selected hospitals and children's hospices in Southern England and South Wales. Information was sought on current policies and practices and the views of professionals. Replies from 20 units suggest that fewer than 10 per cent of children are taken home. Seven of the units had written policies and these generally had a higher rate of taking home. All hospitals/hospices should have a bereavement policy sensitive to the unique needs of children and families and including guidance on taking the child home should they wish to.

Research abstracts