Marie Curie to offer support for bereaved families at the RD&E

26 Feb 2021

A new service has been launched this week to offer bereaved families in Exeter and Mid Devon additional support from Marie Curie, the UK’s leading end of life charity, when a loved one dies at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust (RD&E).

Families of patients who die either at the RD&E or who have had support and care in the community from the RD&E will receive a phone call from a specially trained, locally recruited, Marie Curie Companion who will offer a series of weekly telephone bereavement support calls.

Julia Bearne, Community Engagement and Development Manager at Marie Curie, said:

“When someone close to you dies it is, and has always been, terribly difficult. Sadly, we know that for many people the pandemic will have made coping with bereavement even harder.

“Our Marie Curie Companions can offer comfort, compassion, a friendly voice and a listening ear at a time it’s needed most. Talking to someone can make a huge difference and we’re delighted to be able to offer this service at the RD&E.”

Tina Grose, Lead Cancer Nurse & Joint End of life lead at the RD&E, said:

“We are delighted to work alongside Marie Curie in providing this additional service to our patients’ loved ones. Throughout the pandemic, we have seen a negative impact on the bereavement of individuals due to restrictions and isolation. We hope this will be a positive step in supporting people at this difficult time” 

The RD&E is only the second hospital in England to secure this new service, which was first introduced at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton (Somerset Foundation NHS Trust) last year. 

Carolyn Mills, RD&E Chief Nursing Officer, said:

“We’re really grateful to Marie Curie for launching this at the RD&E. This service will really help to support family members who have lost a loved one and allow them to talk about their bereavement with a trained volunteer.”

Across Devon Marie Curie Nurses work on the front line, night and day, in people’s homes, providing hands-on care and vital emotional support to dying people and those closest to them. During the pandemic, the charity has also increased its support for people who have been bereaved yet relies on the huge generosity of the public to continue providing this vital care.

The charity’s iconic annual fundraising campaign, the Great Daffodil Appeal – which is reaching its 35th anniversary next month – has been severely affected, with all public collections for donations cancelled.

The charity is therefore calling on residents of Devon to support the Great Daffodil Appeal in a variety of creative ways this year including donating online, hosting a ‘Wear Yellow Day’ or by donning their trainers and ‘stepping up for Marie Curie’ walking 10,000 steps every day throughout March.

For more information about local Marie Curie services or to volunteer as a Marie Curie Companion please email or call 0800 3047 412.

To find out more about fundraising or donating to Marie Curie email




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