Responding to today’s news that the UK government is planning a digital death registration service by 2022, Vicky Wilson, CEO of Settld and co-founder of the Bereavement Standard campaign, said:
“This is incredibly positive news and will help to remove some of the un-necessary red-tape and paperwork which currently makes bereavement more stressful than it needs to be.
“The move towards digitalising processes, documents and digital death certificates was a cornerstone of the Bereavement Standard campaign which we launched last year. The government appears to have listened to the needs of the 93,000 people who signed the petition and the members of the campaign group, including cross-party MPs, who pushed for action.
“The last year has seen terrible suffering by a heartbreaking number of grieving families across the UK. A digital death registration service will make the process of registering a death much easier. It means at the very least that something positive may come from this pandemic.”
Steven Wibberley, CEO of Cruse Bereavement Care, co-founders of the Bereavement Standard campaign, said: “We very much welcome this news which is a step in the right direction in improving the distressing experience many bereaved people currently face when dealing with end of life admin.
“The death of a loved one is one of the most devastating things any of us will ever face. In the aftermath, people should be able to spend time with their families to grieve and not be put under additional distress at what is already an incredibly difficult time.”
Elinor Jayne, Head of Influencing at Sue Ryder, said: “From our experience of providing specialist end of life care and bereavement support, we know that families can find the administration which follows someone’s death painful, stressful and difficult to navigate.
“Digitalising the process of death registration can help reduce the burden on people who are grieving, so measures such as this are incredibly important.
“Sue Ryder is pleased to see progress in this area and we look forward to working with the government to help make the processes following someone’s death easier on those left behind.”
Grahame Morris MP, who tabled an early day motion in parliament backing a new Bereavement Standard and, during an Commons adjournment debate in February raised the case for digital death certificates in parliament, said: “Digital death certificates are crucial to improving bereavement services and support in the UK. This move will command widespread support from the public, and Bereavement Standard campaigners, without whom such progress would not have been achieved.
“I hope digital death certificates can be a part of a much broader change and discussion around bereavement, as we continue to campaign for new rights such as statutory bereavement leave and to simplify the procedures around end of life admin.”
In a UK-wide opinion poll conducted by YouGov last year, commissioned by Settld and Cruse Bereavement Care, 87% of the British public agreed that paperwork should be standardised and digital documents accepted where possible.
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