Public health funerals

When we will take responsibility for a funeral

We will only take responsibility for the arrangements for funerals and estates in extreme circumstances.

We have a duty under section 46 of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act of 1984 to "cause to be buried or cremated the body of any person who has died or found to be dead" within Eden’s district, and where it appears "that no suitable arrangements for the disposal of the body have been, or are being made".

We are entitled to recover the costs of the funeral from the estate of the deceased, in the form of a civil debt recoverable within three years. 

In Eden, Public Health Burials are very basic, and usually take the form of an internment in a public grave in an Eden District Council Cemetery.  There is likely to be no service and extra costs are kept to a minimum.

We will not part-fund a funeral. Should a person require financial assistance in arranging the funeral, they should contact their local Social Security office, Jobcentre Plus office, or Pension Service, for further information.

When we will not take responsibility for a funeral

If someone dies in hospital, or in an ambulance on the way to hospital, any duty for that person's funeral lies with the health authority.

Last updated: Tuesday, 15 June, 2021.