The Scottish Government has today (27.06.2016) published the report from the National Cremation Investigation, led by Dame Elish Angiolini, into circumstances surrounding historic infant cremation practices.
The Investigation, established by the Scottish Government in 2014, was set up to look at individual cases where parents had unanswered questions about the cremation of their baby.
Over 200 cases, across fourteen crematoria, were investigated by Dame Elish and her team.
All those who asked the National Cremation Investigation to look in to their case have received an individual report relevant to their own circumstances.
It follows the Mortonhall Investigation taken forward by Dame Elish on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council and the report from the national Infant Cremation Commission, which made recommendations to reform policies and practices across Scotland.
Judith Abela, Acting Chief Executive at Sands has responded to the findings: “Sands welcomes this important report that is very through and honest.
“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.
“It’s also important to note that many of the 64 recommendations from the National Infant Cremation Commission, to reform policies and practices across Scotland have been made and we have seen a great improvements over the last 18 months.
“The appointment of an Inspector of crematoria in Scotland has been crucial in understanding and monitoring local practises, enabling feedback from parents and in supporting change and practise improvement.
“Scotland has shown that with changes to practise, the appropriate equipment and training, and the appropriate reporting mechanisms, culture change and communication it is possible to produce ashes following the cremation of foetuses and babies at very early gestations, so it’s important that there is an obligation on crematoria to make every effort to increase the likelihood of producing ashes following the cremation of a baby and review their practices to ensure that whenever possible ashes are offered to the parents.
“It is unacceptable to deny grieving parents the choice of having ashes following the cremation of their baby.
“Sands is available to support any parent who may have been affected.”