We are working on a range of issues relating to death and end of life.
- are responsible for legislation and policy covering burial, cremation, anatomy, hospital post-mortems and death certification matters in Scotland
- regulate body donation and licence universities and colleges to hold bodies
- regulate organ and tissue donation and transplantation
- provide guidance on what to do after a death in Scotland
- provide guidance on palliative and end of life care
- provide guidance on bereavement care and support
- are working with COSLA to remove all local authority charges for child burials and cremations
- are delivering the Funeral Expense Assistance benefit by summer 2019 to provide critical financial support to people at a difficult time
- provide guidance on funeral costs
Burial and cremation
Incorrect practices in the past have resulted in public inquiries into the cremation industry and the wider sector - for example funeral director businesses.
In 2014, the Minister for Public Health announced the establishment of a National Investigation into infant cremations in Scotland. A report of the Infant Cremation Commission was published in June 2014 together with the SG response to the report. The National Cremation Investigation report published in June 2016, provided specific answers to affected families in the Edinburgh area, as well as some wider recommendations.
These developments resulted in the passing of the Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Act 2016 and the regulatory intervention of Scottish Government under this Act.
The 2016 Act will make much-needed improvements to burial and cremation process in Scotland.
Bills and legislation
The Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Act 2016 will make improvements to the burial and cremation process in Scotland. Additional information about the passage of the Bill is available on the Scottish Parliament website.
The Certification of Death (Scotland) Act 2011 introduced a single system of independent scrutiny of deaths that do not require investigation by a Procurator Fiscal. It also aimed to improve the quality and accuracy of Medical Certificates of Cause of Death.
Burial and cremation
Burial and Cremation, Anatomy and Death Certification Team
St Andrew's House (3EN)
Organ and tissue donation and transplantation
Telephone: 0300 244 4000
Organ Donation and Transplantation Team
Health Protection Division
Mailpoint 3E North
St Andrew's House