Easthampstead Park Crematorium is committed to the sensitive and respectful care of all of those entrusted to us. Our policies and processes for infant cremation are aligned to the latest guidance on infant cremation, as per the recommendations of Lord Bonomy's Infant Cremation Commission (June 2014 Scotland).
The full statement is available on gov.scot.
In line with this guidance, which is fully supported by the national representative bodies, the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities (FBCA), the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM), the Cremation Society of Great Britain (CSGB) and the Association of Private Crematoria and Cemeteries (APCC) our ashes policy is set out below:
Definition of ashes
In line with Lord Bonomy's recommendations, Easthampstead Park Crematorium considers cremated remains and ashes to be one and the same thing and supports the commission's definition that ashes are "all that is left in the cremator at the end of the cremation process, and following the removal of any metal."
Return of ashes
Our approach to the cremation of babies and infants is designed to maximise the recovery of ashes. This includes the use of a cremation tray designed to retain ashes where practicable, and the maintenance of operational conditions that will minimise the loss of any ashes during the process of cremation.
We will employ best practice, for example the use of specialist computer programmes and metal trays, and our staff will be vigilant during the cremation process and if appropriate will adjust operational conditions when necessary in order to protect the ashes of babies and infants and maximise their recovery.
Where a shared cremation has been authorised, and hence ashes are not individually identifiable, we will take the same care throughout the cremation process, including steps to maximise the recovery of ashes, and will scatter/bury the ashes within the crematorium's designated area. The location will be recorded for future reference.
Disposal of ashes
In relation to the disposal of ashes in the case of a private cremation, Easthampstead Park Crematorium will only act upon the written instruction of the parent who is acting as the applicant for cremation or other person nominated in writing by the parent.
In the case of shared cremations we will only act on the written instruction of the designated person at the relevant hospital, who is acting as the applicant. Ashes can be held at the crematorium on temporary deposit until a decision has been made as to their final disposal.
Ashes can be held for a period of up to 3 months (a charge is made after 28 days) after which time, in the absence of the crematorium receiving any written or alternative arrangements for disposal, the crematorium is authorised to disperse the ashes within the grounds. Should this situation arise, we will write to the applicant twice, the first letter setting out a notice period of 14 days to contact us and the last and final letter giving a further 7 days, after which the ashes will be scattered in the grounds according to crematorium regulations.
Disposal of metals
In order to reduce the impact on our environment, Bracknell Forest Council has adopted the Recycling of Metals Scheme operated by the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management. This scheme includes the sensitive recycling of metals to avoid the use of non-renewable resources and to comply with existing legislation. All profits from such reclamation of metals are dispersed among bereavement related charities.
The applicant will be asked to sign a consent form on the Notice of Cremation about the disposal of metals recovered from an individual cremation. In the event the applicant wishes to dispose of the metals themselves the applicant will be asked by the funeral director to tick and sign in the designated area on the front page of the Notice of Cremation.
All cremations of babies and infants will be registered at the crematorium; with all information as contained in forms and certificates being retained indefinitely. This may be in electronic form.
If ashes are scattered or buried within the grounds of the crematorium the final resting place will be recorded. Where ashes are to be collected, the details of any person authorised by the applicant to remove/collect the ashes, and the date on which the ashes were collected will be recorded.
The policy of this Cremation Authority is designed to provide an audit trail from the receipt of initial funeral instructions to the final disposal of ashes, either by collection from the crematorium or by scattering or burial within the confines of the grounds.
Questions or queries
If you have any questions or queries about the cremation of your baby, you can speak a member of the crematorium team.