Provocation four: Unable to Get Through: The Lived Experience of COVID-19

The fourth seminar held in March 2023, The Lived Experiences of People Bereaved by COVID-19, was led by Professor Lynn Sudbury-Riley from the University of Liverpool’s Management school.

The session invited us to explore the topic in relation to people’s NHS experience and knowledge of clinical practice.  This explored two of the findings from recent research with people who lost relatives to COVID-19.

While there have been several important investigations into the handling of the pandemic, too many omit the voices of the bereaved.  This research collected narratives from 28 people who lost 30 relatives to COVID-19.  Results found experiences to be extremely arduous, with the clear message that a COVID-19 death is different to other deaths.  

The seminar focused on two (of many) areas which made these experiences particularly difficult: the lack of suitable information technology and the almost total exclusion of families from end-of-life care and decision making.

Watch the University of Liverpool's video, 'A Death Like No other', here.

Prof Sudbury-Riley hoped the discussion will lead to specific outcomes around the following:

  • How can the NHS better harness technology to enhance communication between dying patients and their families?
  • What can be done at a local level to improve communication between clinicians and the families of patients?
  • How can participants embed the principles of person-centred care so that carers are identified, supported and involved in decision making?

Visit Professor Sudbury-Riley's staff page.

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