Baby ashes scandal national investigation team announced


Public Health Minister Michael Matheson announced a national investigation team to look into all the allegations surrounding infant cremation across Scotland, on 17 June 2014.

The minister told the Scottish Parliament the team would be headed by former Lord Advocate Dame Elish Angiolini

The move follows the publication of Lord Bonomy's Infant Cremation Commission report, whose 64 recommendations were fully accepted by the government according to Mr Matheson.

He also said a new burials and cremations bill will be brought forward.

On the new investigation team, the minister 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."

Mr Matheson went on to say the national investigation team was now in place and parents could contact if it wish via a form on the Scottish government website or sent by post.

He said: "Sadly some parents will never know what happened to their children, but I hope that those parents will recognise that we will do all that we can for them to get the answers that are available.

"I hope all parents will recognise the important legacy of the last eighteen months is that this will never be able to happen again."

Labour health spokesman Neil Findlay welcomed the report's recommendations and the fact the government accepted them all, particularly the central role of bereaved parents.

Mr Findlay asked if the government would reconsider a full public inquiry into the scandal.

Mr Matheson said a public inquiry could not deliver the investigations to individual families' cases, whereas the national investigations team could.

Speaking for the Conservatives, Jackson Carlaw said his party were now persuaded that the investigations unit was the best hope to get answers for families.

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