Objective: To establish what staff support mechanisms are currently in place within children's hospices in the UK looking specifically at 'individual' staff support including mentoring and 'team' staff support including the use of debriefs.
Design: A self-administered postal questionnaire study.
Setting: Children's hospices in the UK.
Main outcome measures: Looking at: use of team meetings; use and content of team debrief; availability of a bereavement counsellor for staff; availability of individual staff mentor and/or clinical supervisor and availability of internal and external training for staff.
Results: There was a 76% response rate. Of the hospices that responded 100% of these held team meetings, had access to a bereavement counsellor and 'in house training' and 88% held a debrief after a significant or traumatic event.
Conclusions: Looking after staff who care for dying children and their families is a priority. Children's hospices have good support structures in place for staff--the acute sector has much to learn.