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New research launched into services for bereaved families

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The OU has launched a new study into the Medical Examiners Service and its impact on bereaved families.

The Medical Examiner Service was introduced in January 2021. Medical examiners are qualified doctors who are independent of those who gave care to the deceased person. They assess the medical records of people who have died, and identify the cause of death. The service also allows families to ask questions about the care their loved ones received from health services.

The OU is looking for family members who are willing to share their stories and experiences of communicating with the Medical Examiners Service. If you’re interested in taking part, please contact lead Researcher Dr Kerry Jones. Kerry will explain how the study works and give more information.

Interviews will take 45-60 minutes and you will receive a £50 Amazon voucher for your time.  

Get in touch

The research is headed by Dr Kerry Jones, Senior Lecturer in End-of-Life Care at The Open University, and co-chair of the university’s Carer’s Research Group. She is joined by Sharon Mallon Senior Lecturer in Social Work and Wellbeing at Staffordshire University, who is also a former academic at the OU.

‘By understanding more about how this service is communicating with families after the death of a loved one, we can help to shape the service as it is rolled out across England and Wales,’ said Dr Jones.

‘We’d like to speak to anyone who has received support from the Medical Examiner Service. We know that talking about the death of a loved one and the grief we feel afterwards can be difficult. Rest assured that our researchers are experienced in talking to families about bereavement and will support you throughout your contribution to this study.’

If you’ve experienced a bereavement and are looking for support, the following organisations can help:

  • - Bereavement support and advice and helping you find the most appropriate support after experiencing a bereavement.
  • CRUSE Bereavement care – Bereavement support throughout Wales (and the UK).
  • Shout 85258 - Free text service for anyone after immediate support for their mental health. If you are an OU student, text ‘OU’ to 85258

If you’re an OU student and experience anything that impacts on your studies, please contact your Student Support Team.

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