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East of England second priciest region in UK for cremation and eighth most expensive burial

PUBLISHED: 00:01 10 May 2017

The palliative care team at Ipswich Hospital have organised a number of events to mark Dying Matters Week. Picture: IPSWICH HOSPITAL

The palliative care team at Ipswich Hospital have organised a number of events to mark Dying Matters Week. Picture: IPSWICH HOSPITAL

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Bereaved families in the East of England are being pushed into “greater hardship” as the cost of funerals soars to an all-time high, it has been claimed.

Sarah Higson, patient experience lead at Ipswich Hospital, takes part in Dying Matters Week. Picture: IPSWICH HOSPITALSarah Higson, patient experience lead at Ipswich Hospital, takes part in Dying Matters Week. Picture: IPSWICH HOSPITAL

New research from Funeralbooker has today named the region as the as the second most expensive in the UK to hold a cremation and the eighth most costly in which to be buried.

The average cost of a cremation in the east is now £796, which is higher than the national figure and is a rise of 5.9% on 2016, while the average burial fee has gone up by 5.6% to £1,507.

James Dunn, co-founder of Funeralbooker, an independent funeral comparison website, said: “These price hikes are the ultimate stealth tax, going completely unnoticed by families until their moment of need.

He added: “If these costs continue to climb, families will struggle and we will see funerals causing even greater hardship and stress.”

Lisa Nobes, director of nursing at Ipswich Hospital, takes part in Dying Matters Week. Picture: IPSWICH HOSPITALLisa Nobes, director of nursing at Ipswich Hospital, takes part in Dying Matters Week. Picture: IPSWICH HOSPITAL

The company has also warned of a “postcode lottery”, as prices vary greatly between towns and cities in the East of England.

Cremation fees range from £695 in Ipswich, to £845 in Bury St Edmunds and £727 in Colchester.

The figures have been released during Dying Matters Awareness Week, which runs between May 8 and May 14 and carries the theme ‘What can you do?’.

Ipswich Hospital and St Elizabeth Hospice are hosting events to mark the occasion, and to encourage people to talk more openly about death.

On Friday, a photo booth will be installed outside the Carer’s Cabin at Ipswich Hospital between 10am and 4pm for patients, staff and visitors to share their thoughts about how they could help others in times of grief.

The chaplaincy team has also organised tours of Ipswich Crematorium, while ‘bucket list’ stands will be available throughout the week for people to list the things they’d like to do before they die.

Rev Tony Brookes, lead chaplain at the hospital, said: “Many people still feel uncomfortable when it comes to talking about death, which is something we are keen to change. We hope that the events we have organised during the week will help us to break down some of those barriers and encourage people to discuss their wishes openly with their friends, family and relatives.

“Talking about death won’t bring it closer, but can ensure that your wishes are met as you reach the end of your life.”

Meanwhile, staff at St Elizabeth Hospice will take part education sessions to help them speak to patients and families about preparing for death; and visitors are invited to take a look around the Foxhall Road centre from 2pm to 4pm today. To attend, contact Julie Harris via email or call 01473 707032.


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