Decision details

20/00132 - Commissioning of Specialist Bereavement Services

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


Reason for the decision
A key decision is required as it affects more than 2 electoral divisions and expenditure if over a million.

Kent and Medway CCG and Kent and Medway Suicide Prevention Team have identified funding to provide specialist bereavement support services across Kent and Medway. There are currently limited support services available for those bereaved and as such the funding will ensure a comprehensive and consistent service is put in place. This is seen as critical given the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Bereavement is a natural part of human experience but can be intensely painful and negatively impact on physical and mental health (Selman et al 2020). As part of NHS England’s national Suicide Prevention Transformation Funding and through NHS Kent and Medway CCG, it is identified that there are two particular groups in which bereavement can have an increased risk of depression, self-harm and other mental illness. These include children, young people and young adults and people bereaved by suicide. There is likely to be an increase in people needing these services due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

KCC, in collaboration with the Kent and Medway CCG and Medway Council will procure two services to support Kent and Medway residents through a competitive procurement exercise with a maximum value of £1,493,750 over the period of five years.

Strategic outcome
The commissioned services support KCC’s outcomes:

• Every Child has the best start in life;
• Kent communities feel the benefits of economic growth by being in-work, healthy and enjoying a good quality of life; and
• Older and vulnerable residents are safe and supported with choices to live independently.
The services will also align to the following outcomes set out in the draft KCC Strategic Delivery Plan (2020-2023):
• Stronger and safer Kent communities
• Opportunities for children and young people
• Quality health, care and support

The outcomes of the service are to:

• Improve service user’s resilience and their capacity to cope in their surroundings
• Improve service users physical and mental health (measured by evidence-based tools)
• Personal goals and outcomes achieved
• Reduction in stigma and discrimination


As Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, I agree to:


-       Award the contract for bereavement support services for three years with potential for extension by up to two years.

-       Delegate authority to the Director of Public Health to approve the extensions within the agreed 5-year maximum period if required; and

-       to take any other relevant actions, including but not limited to; entering into relevant contracts or other legal agreements, as necessary to implement the decision.


Publication date: 30/04/2021

Date of decision: 30/04/2021

Effective from: 11/05/2021

Accompanying Documents: