Lessons must be learnt to protect rights of grieving families

Scottish Liberal Democrats have said lessons must be learnt to protect the rights of grieving families following the publication today of the report of the National Cremation Investigation.

The investigation, led by Dame Elish Angiolini, uncovered a litany of failures, including “unethical and abhorrent practices” at Aberdeen Crematorium such as the cremation of foetuses and babies along with unrelated and unknown adults. The report makes 13 recommendations which the Scottish Government has accepted.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have urged authorities to act swiftly on the recommendations so no family must ever again have to countenance not knowing where their loved ones ashes are.

Scottish Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Children and Young People, Sheila Thomson said:

“This report will make harrowing reading for the hundreds of families who have been utterly failed by the appalling practices at some crematoriums.

“The failure of Aberdeen City Council to properly communicate the findings of previous reports into this scandal to staff is also worrying. While the Scottish Government’s undertaking to implement all of Dame Elish’s recommendations is welcome, this shows the importance of demonstrating clear and sustained leadership.”

Mike Rumbles, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for the North East, added:

“My thoughts go out to families affected by the indefensible actions of some crematoriums. No family must ever again have to countenance not knowing where their loved ones ashes are.

“The report highlights the necessity for staff at every stage to have more effective training so that they can properly support grieving families and help them make the right decisions. Lessons must be learnt in order to protect their rights and ensure they have the best chance of achieving some sense of closure.”

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