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Council amends its infant cremation policy

SCOTLAND'S largest local authority has overhauled its policy on infant cremations following the publication of a damning report into the Mortonhall baby ashes scandal.

Glasgow City Council has acted on Dame Elish Angiolini's investigation into Mortonhall Crematorium in Edinburgh, where ashes of babies were disposed of without the knowledge of their parents over several decades.

The authority, which was also implicated in the scandal following revelations in the capital, will use a broader definition of "cremated remains" than outlined by the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities.

From now on, all ashes left following a cremation can be provided to parents, rather than just "identifiable skeletal remains". The council said the change would mean ashes would be recovered in the vast majority of cases.

Trays for use in cremations of infants, which help retain remains, have also been ordered. The council has written to funeral directors in the city and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde asking them to ensure that bereaved parents are given accurate information.

Brian Devlin, Glasgow 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. However, until that happens we will move to use the definition outlined in Dame Elish Angiolini's report.

"The use of this narrower interpretation has meant that some families who wanted to have their baby's ashes did not get them and we are truly sorry for that. If any bereaved family has any questions about their baby then I urge them to get in touch with us and we will do everything we can to answer their questions."

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Families

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