UK GOVERNMENT urged to introduce new account closure standard to help grieving families.
Ben Lake MP has backed a House of Commons motion which calls for the introduction of a new ‘Bereavement Standard’.
The early day motion (EDM), tabled as parliament returned on September 1st, calls on ministers to “simplify and streamline” the “complex array of arrangements” which face grieving families who need to close accounts with service providers, following the death of a loved one.
The growing support in parliament comes as nearly 80,000 people have signed a public petition at change.org/bereavementstandard which demands similar action from the government to improve the process of account closures across the UK.
Ben Lake MP said: “Grieving families have enough to cope with without the added burden and unnecessary stress caused by having to close multiple accounts, which at the moment can take weeks or months to complete. A new Bereavement Standard would simplify and streamline the process.”
The campaign, launched recently by mother and daughter Julie and Vicky Wilson, from Easington, Co Durham, is backed by several charities including Cruse Bereavement Care, Sue Ryder, Marie Curie, and the Good Grief Trust. A ‘Bereavement Standard Working Group’ to help bring about the requested standard has also been established with leading service providers, parliamentarians, charities, and UK regulators.
Across the UK, more than 600,000 people die every year. Currently, there is no approved process for closing accounts when someone dies – some companies demand a death certificate before closing an account, others seek different proof and paperwork. It can take weeks, or months, of repeated calls, to close just one account. On average individuals have up to 20 utility, mobile, broadband, TV subscription, and other household service accounts which need to be closed.
The Bereavement Standard would set a time limit for account closures, standardise paperwork and documents required, and ensure service providers have dedicated bereavement channels with properly trained staff, available to customers.
Vicky Wilson, who founded the campaign with mum Julie, said: “We are hugely encouraged that there is such growing support from MPs and members of the public for a new set of agreed standards, and we call on ministers and all service providers across the UK to listen to those voices and back our campaign. Without an agreed Bereavement Standard, service providers can still add unnecessary stress at a time when grieving families have enough to deal with.”
It was following the death of her grandmother that Vicky Wilson experienced the protracted and unsatisfactory process that thousands of families have to endure when closing multiple accounts for loved ones who have died. As a result, she and her mum founded a new online account closure service, Settld, which launches to members of the public for free, later this year.
Steven Wibberly, CEO of Cruse Bereavement Care, said: “It is vital that companies show compassion towards bereaved people. They must simplify their processes to ensure they are fit for purpose and to make sure that they are not causing their bereaved customers further distress, at what is already a very difficult time.
Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has left thousands more people bereaved. Anything that can be done to simplify this process for bereaved people will have a huge impact.”
Parents warned to look out for respiratory illness in children
RESPIRATORY Syncytial Virus (RSV) is circulating amongst children and toddlers in the Hywel Dda area (Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire)
Hywel Dda UHB Medical Director and Deputy Chief Executive Dr Philip Kloer said: “Because of the COVID restrictions, there have been few cases of RSV during the pandemic, but this virus has returned and in higher numbers now people are mixing more.
“RSV is a common respiratory illness which is usually picked up by children during the winter season, and causes very few problems to the majority of children. However, very young babies, particularly those born prematurely, and children with heart or lung conditions, can be seriously affected and it’s important that parents are aware of the actions to take.”
Parents are being encouraged to look out for symptoms of severe infection in at-risk children, including:
*a high temperature of 37.8°C or above (fever)
*a dry and persistent cough, difficulty feeding, rapid or noisy breathing (wheezing).
The best way to prevent RSV is to wash hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser regularly, dispose of used tissues correctly, and to keep surfaces clean and sanitised.
Most cases of bronchiolitis are not serious and clear up within 2 to 3 weeks, but you should contact your GP or call NHS 111 if:
- You are worried about your child.
- Your child has taken less than half their usual amount during the last two or three feeds, or they have had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more.
- Your child has a persistent high temperature of 37.8C or above.
- Your child seems very tired or irritable.
Dial 999 for an ambulance if:
- your baby is having difficulty breathing
- your baby’s tongue or lips are blue
- there are long pauses in your baby’s breathing
New Quay RNLI rescues person cut off by the tide
NEW Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was launched on service on Saturday September 11 following a report of a person cut off by the tide at Traeth Gwyn, New Quay.
With three crew members on board the inshore lifeboat Audrey LJ it launched on service at 11.15am and did an extensive search of the beach before finding the casualty who had been cut off by the high spring tide.
Brett Stones, New Quay RNLI’s helm said, “There was an initial confusion on the location of the casualty but an update from the New Quay Coastguard Rescue team, who had fought their way down from the cliff top through thick undergrowth, allowed us to locate the person.
“We then transferred the casualty and two of the coastguard team onto the boat. We dropped the casualty off at Llanina Point and brought the two coastguard officers back to the lifeboat station. The inshore lifeboat was then rehoused and ready for service by 12.25pm.
“Remember if you see if you see anyone in difficulty or you find yourself in trouble on the coast call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”
Ben Lake shows support for farmers on Back British Farming Day
BEN Lake MP has today shown support for British food and farming on Back British Farming Day, recognising the crucial role farmers in Ceredigion play in producing food for the nation.
The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) provided MPs with the emblem of the day – a wool and wheatsheaf pin badge – to enable them to join the celebration of agriculture. Food and farming is a key business sector, worth more than £120 billion to the UK economy and providing jobs for almost four million people.
The NFU chose the day to launch a new report which asks for Government to complete a comprehensive report on UK food security later this year, covering the country’s production of key foods and its contribution to global food security. This would be the first meaningful assessment of UK food security in over a decade.
Commenting, Ben Lake MP, said: “I’m proud to wear a pin badge today to show my support for Ceredigion’s fantastic farmers and growers. The day presents an opportunity to thank the farmers who feed us, as well as take care of our countryside and maintain our iconic Welsh landscapes.
“I fully support the campaign which is asking us all to value locally produced food. I will be calling on Government to adopt agricultural policies that ensure farming in Ceredigion can thrive and ensure our self-sufficiency does not fall below its current level of 60%, alongside a greater ambition in promoting Welsh food to aid UK food security.”
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