Public Health Funerals

Information about Public Health Funerals that have taken place in Fenland

 We are required to carry out a Public Health Funeral for a person who:

  • has died within the Fenland District (Cambridgeshire); and
  • does not have any other agency/person making arrangements for the disposal of the body

This is required under Section 46 of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act of 1984. It does not apply to anyone who dies in hospital or an ambulance.

Public Health funerals in Fenland

The Coroner will contact us when a death has occurred and there are no known person(s) making suitable arrangements for the body. 

If we are required to undertake a Public Health Funeral, we will arrange a basic but respectful burial or cremation. This usually includes:

  • collection and storage of the body
  • a coffin (basic standard)
  • a burial in a public grave* or cremation in a local crematorium**
  • a vehicle and/or bearers to transport and assist the burial or cremation of the deceased

Please note:

*Public Graves are un-purchased graves. They do not allow for the erection of a grave monument. They may be shared with an un-related person.

** The time and date of the cremation booking will be decided by the contracting undertaker and will be un-attended except for the undertaker and an officer of the Council

Contacting next of kin

Using details from the Coroner, Police and/or Undertaker,  we will do our best to contact the next of kin of a person who has died in these circumstances.

If a will is found, we will tell the executor about the person's death. They are responsible for managing the deceased's estate and arranging their funeral. 

We do not place notices relating to public health funerals. 

Belongings and estate

We may need to search the property of the deceased. This is to find out next of kin/family details and secure items of value. 

If there is no next of kin, the estate will be referred to the Government Legal Department. This is only if the estate is valued over £500 after funeral costs. 

If the deceased lived in rented accommodation, the landlord is responsible for cleaning the premises and any related costs after we have searched the property. The same applies if the deceased lived in a care or nursing home. 

Funding

We can recover the costs of a funeral within three years. This is through a civil debt placed on the estate of the deceased. 

We cannot part-fund a funeral.

Contacting the Council

For more information, please contact the Environment & Leisure Support Team. You can do this by emailing bereavement@fenland.gov.uk or calling 01354 654321. 

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