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15 May 2019 0 Comments
Posted in Medical Negligence

Dying Matters Awareness Week: grieving when you don’t know how or why your loved one died

Posted by , Senior Associate

Dying Matters is a national coalition of organisations that aim to help people talk openly about dying, death and bereavement. This year, starting on 13 May, the national awareness week will join with organisations to help raise the public’s consciousness of this difficult and distressing topic.

This year we felt it was important to highlight the added difficulty of talking about a death and grieving in circumstances where a loved one has died in confusing or unexpected circumstances. Also where they may have been living in, or under the care of, state or private organisations, due to physical or emotional vulnerabilities.

Coming to terms with someone’s death is a difficult journey and can be very isolating for those left behind. These feelings are often exacerbated, and the grieving process halted, in situations where someone has died in unexpected circumstances and where questions remain unanswered about how (or why) they died.

Dying Matters have some good resources to help people support those who are dealing with a traumatic or sudden loss, however often people find the only way to move forward is to find out what happened.

This is often the circumstances in which we meet our clients; trying to uncover the reasons why someone has died and whether it was avoidable. We work with bereaved people to fight for the answers that they need about their loved one’s death. This could be as we represent them at inquest proceedings or through a negligence claim where it is felt that substandard treatment caused a death.

Attending an inquest with a solicitor, or bringing a claim, allows clients to fully investigate what happened to their family member. We help investigate care given by hospitals, care homes, supported living facilities, prisons, the police, and GPs (among others). We help collect in all the documents that organisations hold that might be relevant to the death, including medical records and care records. We then analyse these in great detail, and often with involvement of specialist experts, to help our clients understand what went wrong.

Inquests or fatal claims can also help make sure that actions are taken by organisations to ensure the same substandard care is not provided to someone else. This is often a primary aim of our clients, as they wish to protect other families from the heartbreak of losing a loved one in the same circumstances.

Working with our clients, it is clear that grief and bereavement is a wholly unique experience to each person. We appreciate that each of our clients has different questions and objectives for the process. Our approach is to always be guided by a client as to what they want to achieve from the process and how we can best support them.


You can find out more about what to do when someone close to you dies in our comprehensive bereavement guide here.

If you wish to chat to one of our experienced team about any aspect of bereavement, inquests or investigating the circumstances of a death, please contact us today.

08000 277 324     Email usbereaved@roydswithyking.com

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