Bradford East MP, Imran Hussain, has demanded that the Health Secretary retains measures in the Coronavirus Act 2020 that have sped up the registration of deaths in the Bradford District.
Under the changes set out in the Coronavirus Act, a greater number of qualified individuals are able to register the death of an individual, whilst GPs and hospitals can email Medical Certificate of Cause of Deaths (MCCD) rather than relatives being forced to collect it from a Register Office, streamlining the process and decreasing the length of time that it takes for bodies to be released from mortuaries and buried.
However, the Coronavirus Act will expire in just a few weeks on 24 March 2022 and these changes will revert back to the system that was in place pre-pandemic, leaving Imran concerned that the positive lessons that have been learnt and the improvements that have been brought by the Act to families across Bradford who have experienced a loss will be lost for others.
Imran has therefore followed up on a letter sent last August to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to urge the Government to ensure that there is a continuation of some of the measures set out in the Coronavirus Act 2020 relating to the registration of deaths, and that there is no return to slow, outdated and insensitive practices in place before the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Speaking on his call for the Government to look at retaining measures in the Coronavirus Act to speed up the registration of deaths, Imran said:
“The death of a loved one is a deeply upsetting event, and those who are responsible for managing the affairs of a loved one are always keen for them to be granted as much dignity in death as possible. That is why the changes brought in by the Coronavirus Act enabling bodies to be released from mortuaries and put to rest much more quickly were widely welcomed by families across Bradford.
“However, despite the greater dignity that it affords to the deceased and the increased comfort that is provided to their families by being able to put loved ones to rest as soon as possible, the changes in the Coronavirus Act will be reversed when the Government plan on scrapping the Act later this month.
“I have long been campaigning to improve the processes around the registration of deaths, and Ministers need to listen to local councils, GPs, hospital staff, coroners and funeral directors about the immense benefits that these measures in the Act have provided to families in places like Bradford to ensure that when the Act expires on 24 March, the Government do not lose these benefits for good.”