The independent inquiry into infant cremations at Emstrey Crematorium in Shrewsbury has reported it’s findings today (01/06/2015).

The inquiry was commissioned by Shropshire Council at the request of bereaved families to look into cases where no ashes were returned to families following the cremation of a baby or unborn child.

The inquiry began in December 2014. It was led by chairman David Jenkins, supported by research assistant John Doyle.

The remit of the inquiry was to review the policies, practices and procedures adopted by Emstrey Crematorium and its partners when carrying out infant cremations during the past fifteen-year period, and to publish a series of findings and recommendations.

Judith Abela, Head of Operations at Sands has responded to the findings:

“Sands welcomes this important report.

“We know, from over thirty years of supporting bereaved parents, that having ashes that are associated with their baby, however few, to scatter or bury, is of huge significance. Denying bereaved parents this choice adds unnecessarily to their pain and distress and can have life-long effects.

“We fully support the report’s recommendations and urge them to be implemented in full. We particularly support the call for a single, national and authoritative code of practice for baby and infant cremations to be implemented as a priority.

“We have long been calling for a UK-wide review of baby cremation practices to ensure a consistent approach to the cremation of very premature, stillborn and very young babies throughout the UK.

“We would also like to see an obligation on all cremation authorities to ensure that the crematoria for which they are responsible make every effort to increase the likelihood of producing ashes following the cremation of a baby. An obligation on all crematoria to review their practice to ensure that whenever possible ashes, that is whatever is left after a cremation, are offered  to the parents. It is unacceptable to deny grieving parents the choice of having ashes following the cremation of their baby.”

You can read the report here.