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The terms of reference

  • Review the policies, practices and procedures adopted by Emstrey Crematorium and partners dealing with bereaved families and infant cremation requests during the past fifteen year period but with discretion to take into account cases where parents come forward in relation to infant deaths outside of this period .
  • For the purposes of this inquiry, “infant cremations” shall be taken to mean cremations of foetuses of more than 24 weeks and infants of up to 12 months. The inquiry however shall also have discretion exceptionally to consider individual cases of children older than this if individual parents so request.
  • Review past practice involved with the process of infant cremation at Emstrey Crematorium over that period of time.
  • Review the infant cremations over that period of time.
  • To engage with those bereaved parents who have expressed a wish to contribute to this inquiry. 
  • Review the practices of Emstrey Crematorium during the relevant period in line with appropriate legislation and professional standards adopted by the professional institutes (ICCM and FBCA) at the time.
  • Compare current infant cremation policies, practices and procedures with national guidance and policy and practice by reference to professional institutes (ICCM and FBCA).
  • Review the process with relevant stakeholders involved in the crematorium process, for example looking at communications between hospitals, council, funeral directors and bereaved parents.
  • To publish a summary of findings and recommendations pertinent to Emstrey Crematorium and Shropshire Council.

Specific terms

  • The inquiry shall be led by an independent and qualified legal professional.
  • The council will supply a small team of officers to support the inquiry lead and the investigation.
  • The inquiry should last up to 12 weeks, ending no later than 31 March 2015, unless there is approval from the leader of the council and chief executive to extend this.
  • It is intended that a report containing findings, conclusions and recommendations will be completed by no later than 30 April 2015. The personal details of individuals should be anonymised.
  • The head of the inquiry team will provide an update at the end of January and the end of March to Shropshire Council.
  • The inquiry report will be published.