Hospitals E-Conference : 16th July 2020 | 10:30am

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We look forward to sharing our first Hospitals E-Conference, focusing on topics most relevant to those working within and in association with Hospitals across the UK. Our speakers will be addressing the impacts of COVID-19 within their fields to provide relevant guidance and advice. We would like to express the utmost appreciation and gratitude to our essential key workers for their dedication and bravery during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our speakers will cover subjects like:

  • Organ Donation
  • Bereavement & Mortuary Management
  • Bereavement and Mortuary Service response to Covid-19
  • Self-care during COVID
  • Bereavement Support Services
  • Psychological Impact of Covid-19 course materials


Our speakers:

dr-dale-gardiner  nhs-blood-transplant  2-hearts
National Clinical Lead for Organ Donation
NHS Blood & Transplant

dr-sean-cross  maudsley  kings-college-londonkings-health-partnersnhs-south-london
Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist
King’s College Hospital


Visiting Senior Lecturer
IoPPN King’s College London


Clinical Director, Mind & Body Programme
King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre


Managing Director, Maudsley Learning
South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

shaan-malhotra  nhs-free-london
Group Head of Bereavement & Mortuary Services
Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust

amy-hobson  the-wellbeing-connective
Managing Director
Wellbeing Collective

katie-watson  finders-logo
Public Sector Manager
Finders International


nhs-free-london  nhs-south-london nhs-blood-transplant  the-wellbeing-connective 2-hearts
kings-college-londonmaudsley finders-logo


Relevant Links:


Dr Sean Cross: Future Learn


Shaan Malhotra – Royal Free

The Wellbeing Collective – More info…


Coroner’s Service E-Conference - 24th September 2020 | 10:30am

This event is no longer available to view, find upcoming events here.

Estimated length of event: 1 hr 30 mins

The digital event designed to bring information to Coroners Service staff as we continue our commitment to supporting the public sector.

Covering such topics:

  • NPSAD reporting criteria
  • Anti-psychotic medication and lung disease
  • Fentanyl related deaths
  • Mental health in the UK during COVID-19
  • Promotion of good mental health in the workplace
  • Organ donation throughout the pandemic
  • Guidance from the Chief Coroner
  • Research into social management of lone deaths
  • Coroners inquest findings & speaking with next of kin

Our speakers:

dale-gardiner  nhs-blood-transplant  2-hearts
National Clinical Lead for Organ Donation
NHS Blood & Transplant

faye-mcguinness  mind
Head of Workplace Wellbeing Programmes
Mind – Mental Health Charity

caroline-copeland  st. george  kings-college-london
Director of The National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths
St Georges/ King’s College London

Senior Research Fellow
(Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences)
University of Nottingham

Elaine-Ridley  finders-logo
Public Sector Development Manager
Finders International


nhs-blood-transplant kings-college-london2-hearts

mind st. george finders-logo

Relevant Links:


Chief Coroner Guidance

Mind (Relevant section for all Public Sector)


Glenys Caswell: Details and publications list

If you require further details into the content of the event or our speakers, please do not hesitate to contact the event organiser, Elaine Ridley at: [email protected]


PHA Funerals E-Conference | 19th November 2020 | 10:30am

PHA Funerals E-Conference | 19th November 2020 | 10:30am

Register Here

Estimated length of event: 1 hr 30 mins

In our next instalment of our Public Health Act Funerals events, we will be hosting another PHA Funerals E-Conference, with an excellent variety of speakers to contribute to the topic of ‘Pauper’s Funerals’.

What you can expect:

  • Catching up with Glenys on her research, examining the effects of lone deaths
  • Talks with Nick on his role as a Celebrant and how he officiates services for the deceased especially when there is no next of kin
  • Nazia provides legal insights into the ownership of a body, in response to questions raised about what to do when someone refuses to give permission to “dispose” of the body
  • A talk from Fiona on topics surrounding her experiences and repatriation of a body with consideration to public health act funerals


Our speakers:  

Operations Director
Rowland Brothers International Funeral Directors

glenys-caswell Uni-Nottingham
Senior Research Fellow
(Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences)
The University of Nottingham

Independent Funeral Celebrant & Non-Denominational Minister
Fellowship of Independent Celebrants

avatar ramsden
Lead Partner in Contentious Probate
Ramsdens Solicitors

Public Sector Business Development Manager
Finders international




Register Here


Costs of cremations ‘soar’—Daily Mail

The cost of cremations has soared, according to a Daily Mail article published earlier this month (July 2020).

The paper reports that two-thirds of councils have raised their prices by 16 percent, making the average cost £775 (up from £752), despite limited numbers being able to attend funerals because of social distancing due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Funerals are no permitted in churches, but numbers are still limited to allow for social distancing.

‘Pauper’s funeral’

The average cost of cremation was £470 ten years ago. Some councils have reduced their prices, while a quarter of them have frozen what they charge. Quoting from the BBC, the Mail article focused on a widower who compared the lockdown funeral service for wife to a “pauper’s funeral”. Only five people were allowed to attend Neville Wilson’s wife Denise’s send-off after she died of lung cancer in March.

The funeral procession was hearse only with no floral tributes and the family needing to take their own cars to attend the ceremony. The ceremony took place in Coventry, run by the city council there, and was cut from the usual 45 minutes to 15 minutes but still charged at the same price. Mr Wilson said it had felt “unbelievably bad”.

He added that the funeral could not have been any worse “if we’d tried”. Following his experience, Mr Wilson investigated which councils were and weren’t freezing costs in light of reduced service, wondering why Coventry City Council wasn’t doing so.

Upset because they weren’t allowed to attend

He said his two sons were extremely angry because of the funeral service and his wife’s family had been upset because they weren’t allowed to attend.

Councils have defended the price rises, which were agreed before the pandemic, which has also made putting them on more expensive. Service times have needed to be cut so that deep cleaning can be carried out between the services, and this factor has increased costs further.

Down to Earth, a project attached to the charity Quaker Social Action that supports people struggling with funeral costs, condemned the price rises.

The group’s acting manager, Lindesay Mace, told the Daily Mail that the increases in cremation fees were as much as six, seven and even 10 percent in some places since last year. She added that those kid of prices rises were beyond the means of many people, especially because incomes hadn’t risen by nearly as much.

Julie Dunk, the chief executive of the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management, said councils had needed to invest in environmentally friendly equipment.


Finders International runs a funeral subsidiary fund for Public Health Act funerals. Local authorities or NHS trusts can now ask us for a funeral fund subsidy payment towards the cost of such funerals. These will be cases where there are no known next of kin (rather than someone’s next of kin simply refusing to pay). For more information or to apply for a subsidy, simply contact us at [email protected] or call freephone 0800 085 8796.

Hospital E-Conference July 2020

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Thanks again for viewing our E-Conference. We would really appreciate your feedback. Let us know your opinions, questions you have and what topics you would like to see in future events. You will also be entered into a prize draw to win a £20 Amazon voucher! Click on the link to be taken to the feedback page…




PHFIS E-conference 28th May 2020

As you may be aware, we have postponed our Public Health Funerals Conference until 13th May 2021.

In the meantime, we will be holding a bite-sized e-conference that will be available online for you to watch from 10.30am on the 28th May.

To view, you will need to sign up as a member, which you can do here.

Finally, please stay safe and we will beat this.

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Croydon Council supporting residents facing funeral poverty during COVID-19 crisis

In a recent article published in The Thornton Heath Chronicle, it was highlighted that Croydon Council announced as a response to the COVID-19 crisis that they will be reducing cremation costs for bereaved families within their borough facing funeral poverty. This reduction in direct cremation costs will withstand for the period of 10 weeks, assisting not only those facing funeral poverty, but further aiding the death management process within the borough.

Croydon has developed and trained 12 volunteer redeployees to assist with the increased demand for death registration. The online tool used to train volunteers has been developed by Croydon and is being shared pan-London and beyond. This increase in redeployed volunteers has increased capacity from 67 to 290 possible registrations per week.

The full list of announced implementations this month, designed to support Bereavement services can be found at: The Croydon Council Cabinet Meeting Agenda for the 11th May 2020.

The article also stated that in normal circumstances, Croydon council oversees around 300 burials annually. With no new graves available at cemetery sites, the council has had to offer the reuses of graves where no burial has occurred for at least 75 years, extending to circumstances where the grave is unvisited or neglected.

Croydon is the lead borough for the South London coronial area (made up of Croydon, Bromley, Bexley and Sutton) and is also a member of the London Mortality Planning Group that has established a mortality planning group for the south London area made up of representatives involved in the death management process.

Within their most recent cabinet meeting, the members will record its thanks to all frontline and support service staff who have continued to provide vital services across the borough. Such thanks extend to the organisations, staff and volunteers across Croydon, covering voluntary and community groups, including those contributing to bereavement services within the borough.

To find out more, visit: https://www.croydon.gov.uk/

The PHFIS is intended as a guide for local authorities and hospitals who deal with public health funerals. If you would like to learn more about the PHFIS or require assistance, you can visit our website here.  Alternatively, you can telephone: +44(0) 20 7490 4935 or email: [email protected]

Royal London finds funeral spend increasing

At a time when Local Authorities are under more scrutiny than ever before, the 2020 Public Health Act Funerals Conference is well placed to bring all parties together to discuss current provision, look at solutions and prepare for the future.

The recent Royal London report found that Local Authorities have spent in excess of £6.3m on on PHA funerals in the financial year up to March 2019.With one council, Birmingham, providing funerals for 387 residents in the year.

The report also highlights that there is no minimum standard for funerals provided. Royal London has called for the introduction of a minimum standard that allows families to attend a funeral and that ashes are returned to next of kin after a cremation, free of charge.

The Church of England General Synod will also be debating the matter and parliament have also made noises about change. The Government will increase the amount of the Funeral expenses payment in April from £700 to £1000. Whilst this is welcome, the amount paid still will not cover the cost of a basic funeral which means that the bereaved may have to turn to the Local Authority to provide a service.

David Lockwood, who runs the Public Health Funerals Information Service (PADSN) and organises the annual PHA Funeral Conference in association with Finders International said “I welcome the Royal London report and its call for a minimum standard”. He continued “it’s clear that staff work hard to provide a dignified service for the deceased, but they are put under financial constraints, a minimum standard will at least give them a framework they can follow. This will also end the postcode lottery meaning that the bereaved will know what they can expect.”

David is calling on all interested parties to attend the forthcoming PHA Funerals Conference at the Victoria Park Plaza Hotel on the 14th May. David stated that “it is an ideal opportunity for those seeking change to meet the Local Authority staff that provide the service, to see their compassion and commitment and to forge links to work together to improve the quality of service we give”.

Delegates can sign up now via the online form found here

Case Study D

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Case Study C

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