The Co-operative Funeralcare response to the Emstrey Inquiry

June 01, 2015

John Williamson, Head of Operations for The Co-operative Funeralcare comments:

“Any death, particularly that of a baby, is an incredibly painful experience and we extend our most sincere condolences to the families impacted by the Emstrey Inquiry who have continued to face uncertainty following the loss of their child.”

“Upon taking over the management of Emstrey Crematorium in late 2011, our priority was to invest significantly in the site by upgrading facilities and replacing the cremation equipment previously in use. This was a significant upgrade and once plans were approved in early 2012, work commenced by March 2012, with the new cremators in place by late 2012.”

“In the interim period after we took over responsibility for the running of Emstrey and prior to new equipment and processes being introduced, there were four infant cremations for which ashes were not obtained. To these families, we would like to personally apologise.”

“Following the introduction of new cremators, equipment and processes, ashes have been recovered in all infant cremations since January 2013. As outlined by the Inquiry, the failure to return ashes after infant cremations is historic rather than current and we believe that families can have confidence in the crematorium today.”

“The families who we serve are always our number one priority and our focus now is to work with Shropshire Council to review and progress the recommendations outlined in today’s report. We implemented the guidance put forward following the Scottish Inquiry in 2014 and believe that the recommendations made in today’s report serve as a further step towards a consistent national approach to infant cremation."


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