National Cremation Investigation: Eleven new cases

Edinburgh Council is working closely with the National Cremation Investigation team, led by Dame 'Elish Angiolini (pictured), on these 11 new cases. Picture: Neil Hanna

Edinburgh Council is working closely with the National Cremation Investigation team, led by Dame 'Elish Angiolini (pictured), on these 11 new cases. Picture: Neil Hanna

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ELEVEN new families have registered their cases with the National Cremation Investigation led by Dame Elish Angiolini to look into cases not already investigated at Mortonhall Crematorium in Edinburgh.

It is also understood that following the setting up of the investigation unit in June “a number of new cases” have been brought forward from across Scotland.

A spokesman for the National Cremation Investigation said: “I can confirm that eleven new cases have been submitted in relation to Edinburgh and these will be thoroughly investigated. There has also been a number of new cases registered with the unit from across Scotland however no official figure has yet been compiled as families continue to register.”

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Edinburgh Council is working closely with the National Cremation Investigation team on these 11 new cases.

The new cases have emerged as the city council, following a year long review headed by Dame Elish, issue an up-to-date definition of what constitutes ashes or remains namely “all remains that are left in the cremator at the end of each cremation process and following the removal of any metal”.

This definition is being presented for formal approval by the city’c corporate policy and strategy committee, pending a national definition being applied.

Staff at Edinburgh’s Mortonhall crematorium secretly disposed of the remains of stillborn and dead newborn babies without their families’ knowledge over decades, from 1967 to 2011.

In June an investigation into the handling of baby ashes across Scotland, led by Lord Bonomy, made 64 recommendations.

One of which was the setting up of a National Cremation Investigation headed by Dame Elish - this body was announced by Public Health Minister Michael Matheson who said: “Dame Elish and her team will be able to look at every document and every record, they will interview every concerned family and will expect to speak to any officials or staff members who may hold information.

“They will be able to investigate cremations in Local Authority Crematoria and in private crematoria.

“They will be able to look at the NHS, at funeral directors as well as crematoria.

“Parents can be reassured every step will be taken in order to find out what happened to their babies.”

A council spokesman said of the new eleven cases: “We have been contacted by the National Cremation Investigation team regarding 11 new cases they are looking into and we are providing any information that they require.”

SEE ALSO:

Expert who maintain the 
furnaces at scandal-hit Mortonhall Crematorium have insisted there “should always be ashes” left over from baby cremations

The Scottish Government has said it will continue to monitor all available evidence as pressure grows on it to hold a public inquiry into the baby ashes scandal

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