COVID-19 impacted people across the UK in many different ways, but those who experienced bereavement during this time have faced exceptional challenges.

Researchers and staff from Cardiff University and the University of Bristol collaborated on the ‘BeCOVID: Supporting people bereaved during COVID-19’ study of bereaved people’s experiences and the services supporting them.

The research was carried out via an online survey completed by 711 people who were bereaved between March 2020 and January 2021. The study found that lockdown restrictions increased anxiety for people who lost loved ones during this period.

Palliative Care Evidence Review Service (PaCERS) lead Mala Mann led a rapid review, published in Palliative Medicine, that partially underpinned the BeCOVID grant application. This in turn influenced UK Government bereavement policy in addressing gaps in support for grieving families.

The study was presented at the launch of the UK Commission on Bereavement and included a public statement by the Minister of Mental Health.

PaCERS is co-funded by the WCRC and Marie Curie. Marie Curie has awarded a grant to conduct a fourth survey round with the participant cohort, which will run until January 2023.