Report praises Aberdeen crematorium after audit in wake of baby ashes scandal

An independent audit into Aberdeen City Council’s cremation practices has claimed the council is providing an “excellent service”.

The audit, carried out by The Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities, was called for in the wake of the baby ashes scandal.

An investigation by Dame Elish Angiolini in 2016 found ashes of infants and adults were routinely mixed at Hazlehead Crematorium.

The independent audit, which was completed in November 2017, was carried out to ensure all processes and procedures at the crematorium meet currenHazxt best practice and will be comm-issioned every two years.

In his report, Brendan Day, technical co-ordinator of the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities, said: “The crematorium manual staffing levels at Aberdeen Crematorium are sufficient to provide a satisfactory level of service delivery to the bereaved and to satisfy health and safety requirements.

“The cremation technicians and chapel attendants at Aberdeen Crematorium appeared to be well trained, to have a caring demeanour and an awareness of the sensitivity of the service that is being provided by the Cremation Authority.”

Mr Day also said during the period of the review there were no perceived breaches of the Code of Cremation Practice and the team displayed a “good understanding” of the ethical requirements.

Although there were no baby cremations carried out during the review last year, Mr Day said he was given a “detailed explanation” of the process by staff.

In his conclusion, Mr Day, said: “From my observations and the documentary evidence provided I am satisfied that Aberdeen City Council is delivering an excellent service to the bereaved.

“The current proposals to modernise the building and transfer the cremation administration to the crematorium demonstrates the ongoing commitment of the authority to local bereaved families.

Members of Aberdeen City Council’s audit, risk and scrutiny committee will consider the report on Thursday.