Newspaper investigation reveals rise in public health funerals

The Mirror newspaper has revealed massive rises in the number of people requiring a public health funeral in 2020, often referred to as a pauper’s funeral. A public health funeral is a basic, no-frills service that is paid for by the local authority in cases where someone dies in poverty and their next of kin cannot be found or don’t come forward. The paper’s Freedom of Information investigation compare data from 362 out of 371 councils in Britain and found there were 5,875 public health…

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Investigation conducted into Local’s Authorities approach to ‘Pauper’s Funerals’

The Guardian has reported that Councils in England and Wales are waiving their responsibility to provide Public Health act funerals, more commonly known as “pauper’s funerals.” Quaker Social Action, an anti- poverty charity, stated that families of a low income, are often being turned away because they are not able to afford to pay for the burial or cremation of their loved ones. Senior Business Manager at Finders International and spokesperson for the Public Health Funeral Information Service,…

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The year of COVID-19 – and resilience at its finest

2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for us all and, as it can be assumed that no one has been left untouched by the virus in some way or another, it would be understandable if you were to describe it negatively. However, the single word I would use to describe this year would be ‘resilient’. The definition, according to the Oxford English Dictionary is ‘[they] showed great courage and resilience in fighting back from a losing position to win the game’. While in no way do I imply 2020…

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Family Relationships Chart

BBC Kent Radio talks to our Dementia Champion

Our very own David Lockwood is invited on to BBC Radio Kent’s morning show again this week. This time to discuss his role as a Dementia Friends Champion and how he provides training via Finders International to clients and staff as well as those at this local football club. Dementia friends, run by Alzheimer’s Society, is an initiative about understanding the condition and making our communities better places to live for those dealing with dementia. David’s role as Dementia Friends Champion is…

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Government guidance issued on PHA Funerals

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government have published a good practice guidance for local authorities who have to deal with Public Health Funerals. Whilst not being a statutory document, the guidance sets out standards that a local authority should adhere to when dealing with a deceased person who may require a Public Health Act Funeral. The guidance was written and developed following feedback received from several local authorities and they are designed to “protect public…

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Cremation

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…

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Funeral

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…

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Funeral expenses payment rises

The amount of money that the Government will pay towards a funeral has risen from £700 to £1000 for claims made where the person has died after the 8th April. This change applies to England and Wales under Funeral Expenses Payments and in Northern Ireland as well. The payment is made to help pay funeral costs, but will not cover all the costs incurred when making funeral arrangements. The amount paid depends on the individual claiming's circumstances and will also be reduced if the deceased had…

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Coronavirus legislation implements swift changes

MP’s are to debate new legislation that will bring in a package of emergency measures to help tackle the coronavirus outbreak. Whilst the legislation deals with a raft of proposals on public health grounds, medical provision and border controls, it also deals with the possible increase in mortality rates. The legislation proposes significant changes to the way deaths are recorded, which includes the easing of requirements upon coroners to sign death certificates when other health practitioners…

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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…

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