Parents’ upset after Jeremy Hunt rejects call for inquiry into baby ashes scandal

Hull North MP Diana Johnson
Hull North MP Diana Johnson
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BEREAVED parents have signed a letter to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to express “huge disappointment” after he rejected calls for an independent inquiry into the so-called baby ashes scandal.

A letter by Hull North MP Diana Johnson, signed by 50 parents, calls for a “far reaching and independent” inquiry into what happened in Hull, with all implicated parties, including the NHS, taking part.

An internal review by Hull Council last year admitted 57 families were not given the ashes of their babies. Some mothers were told by the hospital it would take care of funeral arrangements and wrongly told there would be no ashes. Others went to a funeral, but were not told about the ashes afterwards.

Campaigners felt the council review did not go far enough and in December Co-op Funeralcare backed their calls for an independent inquiry along with the owners of Haltemprice Crematorium.

However last month Mr Hunt wrote to the MP to say he believed the council’s resources were “most usefully focussed on further improving cremation practice” and parents’ questions had been answered “as far as possible.” In response the letter from the MP said it was “categorically untrue” as “many of our questions have still yet to be answered.”

It added: “Some of us still do not know what happened to our babies’ ashes; as we had wrongly been told that no ashes would be available, you will appreciate that until we find this out, we will be unable to settle this issue in our minds.”