Rise in Public Health Funerals puts even greater pressure on hard pressed local authorities

A recent survey of 70% of local authorities revealed that almost £5.5m was spent on Public Health Funerals in the year ending April 2018.  During this period in excess of 3,800 people received a Public Health Act (PHA) funeral from a local authority. Almost a third of these funerals were arranged as a result of bereaved families not being able to afford the cost of the funeral. 275 of 390 authorities responded to the survey, conducted by Royal London, meaning that a further 30% of local…

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London PHA Funeral conference, a huge success

Wednesday 28th November – Delegates hail conference a huge success. The Finders International London PHA Funerals Conference took place at the Park Plaza, Waterloo. Delegates from across England and Wales gathered to discuss the issues that affect every council who undertakes Public Health Act Funerals. Those attending heard from speakers on a wide range of subjects such as dealing with bereavement, funeral poverty, the changing face of funerals and what happens at a coroners inquest. The…

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Increase in burial costs behind surge in ‘pauper’s funerals’

These services – officially known as public health funerals – are council-funded services held when the deceased’s family either cannot be found or are unable to meet the burial costs. According to a report considered by the overview and scrutiny committee on Monday, Wealden District Council organised and paid for 16 such funerals last year. Council officer Catherine Beaumont said: “We certainly have noticed, over the last five or six years, a gradual increase in the number of these public…

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Daily Mirror highlights Funeral Poverty issues

The Daily Mirror has recently highlighted the growing issue of Funeral Poverty and how it can affect individuals. The article, published on the 10th July, highlights the issues that surround the death of a loved one and the problems it can leave bereaved families with the rising costs of funeral provision. Read the full article here Daily Mirror Article

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ICCM Public Health Act Funerals Policy Statement

Following recent media reports on provision of PHA funerals the ICCM has published a policy statement on their website outlining the duties of each local authority providing PHA Funerals. The statement calls for all local authorities with the statutory responsibility for providing a service to publish their policies on their website, setting out clear guidelines to the public and calling for the words "paupers" and "destitute" to be avoided due to their insensative nature. You can read the…

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Vicar calls for community to ‘come together’

New data has revealed that public health funerals have more than doubled in Barrow. Public Health Funerals - so-called paupers' funerals - doubled in number between the financial years 2016/17 and 2017/18, according to new statistics revealed through a freedom of information request. There were seven paupers' funerals in 2017/18, twice the number recorded in each of the three previous years (three). Of these seven funerals, five were paid for by the local authority, costing Barrow Borough…

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ITN highlight rise in “Paupers” Funerals

ITN highlighted the rise of funerals undertaken by Local Authorities and the difference in services provided by Authorities on their main news bulletins on Friday 15th June. Watch the report and read more about it on the ITV news website. ITV News Report

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Death in Data

A recent article on the BBC website highlighted an expected spike in deaths over the next few years, thus adding to pressure already placed on Local Authorities carrying out Public Health Act funerals. As life expectancies rise the amount of deaths naturally falls but those people will inevitably pass away at some stage leading to the expected increase. With the recent Royal London report highlighting the rise in provision of Public Health Act Funerals by Local Authorities it seems that there…

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Finding relatives

A recent post to the Funeral Service times has highlighted how Finder International undertakes work to try and ensure that a deceased person has their relatives attend their funeral. The article can be read on the Funeral Service Times website: Funeral Service Times Article

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Funeral prices and plans to be reviewed

UK funeral prices to be probed The BBC is reporting that there are to be two separate reviews carried out by the government into the price of funerals and concerns over pre-paid funeral plans. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is reviewing funeral costs, "to ensure that people are not getting a bad deal". The investigation will focus on funeral prices to ensure that the public are getting a fair deal. The article goes on to state that the average cost of a funeral in 2017 was £3,800.…

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