A Bereavement Charter for Adults & Children in Scotland


After eighteen months of development including consultation and engagement with individuals and groups across Scotland, on Wednesday 15th April 2020 Scotland’s first Bereavement Charter for Children and Adults was launched.

This Charter, together with Guidance notes, has been developed by a coalition of individuals and organisations.

It contains 13 statements which describe what the best bereavement care and support should look like. It has been developed to support individuals and communities who struggle with the death of someone they know or someone in their community.

The Charter is designed to help us understand not only the importance of bereavement support, but what that support needs to look like.

Whilst accepting that every death is unique and that the way we each come to terms with a death is individual, this Charter and Guidance attempts to describe what good bereavement support can look like and what difference it can make.

The authors of the Charter hope that it will begin to appear in locations across Scotland and will be used by diverse groups and individuals. It is therefore hoped that the Charter will help us as a nation become more effective at supporting people to grieve.

Organisations that want to show support and endorse the Bereavement Charter can apply to use the Charter mark – more information is available at  Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief :: Bereavement Charter Mark (goodlifedeathgrief.org.uk)

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Bereavement Charter

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Charter Frequently Asked Questions

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Development of the Charter Video

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Charter & FAQ Translated Versions – 9 languages

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The Charter has been developed by a wide coalition of individuals and organisations including:

Care Inspectorate

Childhood Bereavement Network


Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland

Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief

Healthcare Improvement Scotland

MND Scotland

National Bereavement Alliance

NHS Education for Scotland

NHS Fife

NHS Forth Valley

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Northumbria University

St Columba’s Hospice Care

Scottish Ambulance Service

Scottish Care

Scottish Government

Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care

Sue Ryder

University of Glasgow

University of the West of Scotland

Unexpected Consequences: A webinar on bereavement

The Group which developed the Bereavement Charter held the first in a series of webinars exploring different elements of death and bereavement on Tuesday 11 May as part of the Demystifying Death Week. The recording of this webinar is now available.

We were grateful to hear from a number of speakers on different topics, including:

Update on the Bereavement Charter – Dr Janice Turner, NHS Education for Scotland

People dying at home during Covid – Jan Savinc, Napier University

How disenfranchised grief has been affected by Covid-19 – Paul Parsons, Adult Bereavement Coordinator for St Christopher’s Hospice.

Digital Accessibility and the impact on grief – Donna Hastings, Child and Families Worker for St Columba’s Hospice, Edinburgh

Bereavement Charter for Children & Adults in Scotland: What does it mean for health and social care professionals?

This short animated film gives an overview of the Charter and what it means for health & social care professionals. It paints a picture of how our society can become better at supporting people experiencing grief and bereavement, acknowledging that although bereavement is everyone’s business, health and social care professionals have a key role in supporting patients who are bereaved.

Click on the image to the right to watch the video or here to view it on the NHS Education for Scotland Vimeo channel