Scottish Government has today published the report from the Infant Cremation
Commission, chaired by Lord Bonomy, into policies and practices surrounding
infant cremation in Scotland.
report makes 64 recommendations, which the Public Health Minister Michael
Matheson will respond in a statement to the Scottish Parliament this afternoon,
subject to parliamentary approval.
Matheson said: “I’d like to thank Lord Bonomy and all the members
of the Infant Cremation Commission for thoroughly and extensively examining
this issue of such considerable national concern.
“I’d also like to thank all those who
participated in providing information to the Commission, and in particular the
parents who have played a particularly important role.
“I intend to give a statement to Parliament later
this afternoon, once members have had an opportunity to consider the report,
outlining how the government plans to respond and take forward the
recommendations made by Lord Bonomy.”
report is available on the Scottish Government website:http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2014/06/8342
Text of Letter from the Rt Hon. Lord Bonomy to
Michael Matheson, Minister for Public Health
Dear Mr Matheson,
NOTIFICATION OF COMPLETION OF THE REPORT OF THE
INFANT CREMATION COMMISSION
my capacity as Chair I am pleased to hand over to you the completed Report of
the Infant Cremation Commission.
role of the Commission has been to examine the policies, practice and
legislation related to the cremation of infants in Scotland and, critically, to
provide recommendations for the future which will ensure that no-one in
Scotland ever again has to suffer the distresses that were highlighted by the
Mortonhall Investigation Report. The Report contains 64 recommendations,
including a number for Scottish Government as well as those more directly
involved in the cremation of babies and infants, primarily the NHS, Funeral
Directors and Cremation Authorities.
What the Commission have said about Aberdeen City
Council must now be qualified in light of allegations made, immediately before
finalisation of the Report, that, contrary to the ethical code followed by
Cremation Authorities, babies were cremated along with adults and that was the
real reason for the absence of ashes in the past at Hazlehead Crematorium. That
news has come as yet another blow to many parents. However, for the moment it
is no more than an allegation into which inquiries, which may take some time,
must be made.
Meanwhile, the Commission do not consider that that
should hold up publication of the Report which contains many positive
recommendations designed to improve the practices surrounding baby and infant
cremation, which should be implemented sooner rather than later in the best
interests of all who are affected by baby and infant bereavement and in the
general public interest. The Report suggests a way in which the recommendations
may be taken forward, but does not constrain anyone or any organisation from
taking any necessary actions in the meantime.
would also like to record the willingness of the Commission Members to work
together to achieve consensus on the Report’s conclusions, and also my
indebtedness to every individual and organisation that responded to the many
queries and requests issued by the Commission in the course of its work. This
is particularly true in the case of those parents who shared their experiences
with me on several occasions.
is my hope that everyone will continue to work quickly and collaboratively to
achieve the desired ends.
The Rt Hon. Lord Bonomy