Change in rules after baby ashes scandal

BEREAVED families in Glasgow have welcomed city-wide changes to cremation procedures following the Mortonhall baby ashes scandal.

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The council has written to funeral directors and the health board asking them to ensure that all ashes recovered are returned to bereaved parents if requested.

The authority has always used the definition of "cremated remains" recommended by the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities, which is defined as, "the skeletal remains".

This has meant that there were cases involving feotal remains where bereaved parents have been told there were no ashes.

In her recent report into practices at Edinburgh's Mortonhall Crematorium, Dame Elish Angiolini instead proposed a "broad interpretation" of ashes which would include any ash left in the cremator.

Cheryl Buchanan's daughter Taylor died in the womb after suffering serious health complications, two days before 24 weeks.

When Cheryl phoned the crematorium to find out about collecting Taylor's ashes, she was told that there were none.

Under the new procedures, it is probably that Cheryl would have received her daughter's ashes.

Cheryl, 33, from Barlanark, said: ""We are pleased that the council has taken on board the changes but we are still very angry."

Brian Devlin, the city council's Executive Director of Land and Environmental Services, said: "I hope that in the coming months all cremation authorities will be given a clear definition of what should be returned to bereaved families."

Local government

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