Bereavement support should be expanded to address the wellbeing of grieving friends and family, charities have said.

A survey of those affected by the death of a loved one in the last five years found 31 per cent felt they needed additional support beyond family and friends to manage their bereavement, but just six per cent actually accessed support.

A further 12 per cent did not know how to access help beyond friends and family, while eight per cent felt uncomfortable asking for support and three per cent could not find the help they needed.

Experts at the Sue Ryder and Hospice UK charities have now said more needs to be done to tackle barriers linked to availability, resources, awareness and stigma around bereavement support.

They are calling for a right to bereavement support for everyone who wants it.

Elinor Jayne, policy and public affairs manager for Sue Ryder in Scotland, said: “The death of someone close can have a lasting impact on those left behind and, in some cases, can lead to problems with health and wellbeing that have a significant effect on a grieving person’s life.”