Information for health professionals

Referrals to End of Life Care Services

End of Life Care Service available from 8.30am - 4.30pm, Monday to Friday, to discuss any issues raised by staff. 

Referrals to Child Death Helpline

The Child Death Helpline is a free service available to anyone who has been affected by the death of a child. No referral is necessary.

To lose a child is the most devastating experience any parent has to face. In the UK alone, 16,000 children under 19 die each year. Over 13,000 young adults in their twenties and thirties also die, and grief is no less intense for the surviving parents of an adult child in their 40s or 50s.

The effect of the death of a child upon all members of the family may be far reaching and life long, with many others not of the immediate family also badly affected e.g.: - school friends, teachers, support professionals, medical and emergency services staff.

Organisations offering support to those bereaved of a child frequently hear from people where such a death occurred twenty, thirty or even more years previously. It has long been recognised and acknowledged by professional and volunteer counsellors that bereaved parents and relatives find that the most valuable support is provided from others who have experienced the death of a child.

The Child Death Helpline is staffed by volunteer bereaved parents. Potential volunteers receive comprehensive interactive training in active listening skills, which prepares them to confidentially engage with those affected by the death of a child in any situation, before being admitted onto the Helpline. Continued training and support is offered to volunteers throughout their time with the Helpline. All the training, supervision and support is provided by a professional team, and experienced volunteers, within the two centres.

The Child Death Helpline is a pioneering service in the area of child bereavement support. Run in partnership between healthcare professionals and bereaved parents, it offers a continuous lifelong service to bereaved people.

As the support we offer is through the phone, callers can contact us at any time during opening hours, without the need to wait for the next appointment, or the thought that the support they are receiving will finish after a number of sessions. Being a national freephone service, the Child Death Helpline enables anyone whatever their financial circumstance or geographical area to receive the support they need.

The Child Death Helpline offers a confidential, safe and supportive environment within which a caller can talk openly about the child’s life and death. Callers are given the opportunity to freely express their worries and the sometimes powerful and raw emotions they may be feeling.

We aim to provide a quality freephone service to all those affected by the death of a child. Callers to the Child Death Helpline may be parents, relatives, friends, teachers, medical staff, emergency staff and all who have been affected by a child’s death in whatever circumstances, from pre-birth to the death of an adult child, however long ago, and whatever the circumstances (stillbirth, illness, accident, murder, suicide...).

For a parent, their son or daughter will always be their child, irrespective of age. We receive calls, and support, parents whose child was 30, 40, 50 years old when they died.

The Child Death Helpline provides support not only at times of crisis but for the ongoing needs of callers over their lifetime.

The Helpline is open:

Every evening 7pm - 10pm 
Monday, Thursday and Friday 10am - 1pm
Tuesday and Wednesday 10am to 4pm

Freephone: 0800 282 986