In a letter to Mary Williams, Sudden CEO, Dame Vera Baird lends her support to Sudden's Bereavement Charter, as new analysis shows unexpected deaths triple.

The Victims’ Commissioner has today (8 March) written to Mary Williams, CEO of Sudden, in support of their Sudden Bereavement Charter. “By launching your charter,” Dame Vera Baird writes, “you are raising public awareness on the need to help these families and I am pleased to support you.”

Sudden says the number of unexpected deaths has tripled to almost a quarter of all UK fatalities as a result of COVID-19, and they estimate that the economic cost of dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among those bereaved from the pandemic and other unexpected causes could be as high as £3billion. They assert that there is not currently adequate support in place.

The Charter, published today, calls for access to specialist support to help those suddenly bereaved and reduce costs to society and the economy. This includes the continuation of critical government funding, which is due to end this month.

The Victims’ Commissioner writes:

“I support the need for appropriate measures to be in place to ensure swift access to support services for all those who are suddenly bereaved.  To lose a loved one suddenly is devastating for family members and it is vital they have access to professionals who can offer both practical and emotional help.

Clearly my link to this issue is my role in championing victims of crime who find themselves in this position. A lack of timely support can have long term consequences for the mental and physical health of those left behind. We must ensure there is equal access to support services for any victim who needs them.”

Read the letter in full