Death, dying and bereavement has been a major research and teaching theme at WELS for over 20 years. Our research covers theoretical and practice-related dimensions across end of life care and death, including reproductive and neonatal loss, bereavement and memorialisation. Our work is theoretically driven and aims to inform both theory and practice spanning the social sciences, professional practice, caring, and education. We have strong links with our local hospice – Willen Hospice as well as other clinical and third sector partners. We have an innovative Death, Dying and Bereavement module, which was the first flexible learning of its kind to address the challenging area of death, dying and bereavement, as well as end of life care.
Our research is recognised for its academic excellence and ability to inform health and social care policy and practice. We have, for example, collaborated with the Department of Health in England to explore the end of life care needs of older care home residents. We have also worked in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support to develop learning materials to improve the quality of end of life care. Our work on sexuality and life-limiting conditions has led to the development of national guidance which has informed policy and practice and, since 2016, has been endorsed by the Royal College of Nursing. Members of the research group are regularly consulted on a wide range of policy and practice-related issues. In preparation for REF2021, we are currently preparing a number of impact case studies related to our research and public engagement.