Birmingham MPs meet with coroner to discuss death and burial services in the city

Shabana Mahmood MP, Liam, Byrne MP, Khalid Mahmood MP and Cllr Ansar Ali Khan have met with the coroner, senior officials from the city council, the registrars' office and Heartlands hospital to discuss services which families can expect when a loved one dies.

Constituents have raised a number of issues which they wanted further information about. In particular 1) access to non invasive post mortems  2) cost of burials 3) access to a weekend coroners' service

The coroner was able to confirm that since summer 2015 minimally invasive post mortems have been available. They are done using the scanner in Sandwell. This service is not free and has to be paid for by the family. The cost is approximately £600. This is called CTPM and the coroner will allow this procedure when it is likely to confirm the cause of death. The Sandwell scanner does not do angiography - which is needed to determine causes of death that are non trauma. This angiography service is only available in Oxford so this is something that we will need to continue to look into. The coroner also made the point that the CPTM service is not always quicker so constituents may need to think carefully about their priorities for their deceased family member.

The cost of burial plots in Birmingham is something that we also need to continue to look into. Some of the money is going towards funding the new cemetary in Sutton New Hall. However it is clear there is an issue to do with the contractor costs of concrete chambers which needs to be examined.

The coroner also confirmed that the weekend service is available from 10.00am and 12.00 noon every Saturday, Sunday and Public Holiday throughout the year excluding both Christmas Day and Boxing Day. It is important to note that this service is purely for the issuing of forms to take a body out of England for burial. She confirmed that if an 'Out of England' form needs to be signed constituents should call 07980 312834. This number should only be used and will only be available between 10am and 12 midday on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays. Arrangements will then be made for the paperwork to be completed.

Shabana Mahmood MP said:

"This was a really useful meeting and there are a number of issues that we will continue to pursue with the Coroner and with the Council. If constituents have further concerns they would like me to take up or look into they should email me"