Dozens of people are given pauper’s funerals each year by Brighton and Sussex University Hospital NHS Trust, new figures reveal.
In 2009/10, the trust held public health funerals for 26 people, with 40 the previous year and 37 the year before that.
Of these, 68 were men and 35 were women. The cost of holding the funerals was £18,095 in 2009/10, £25,186 in 2008/09 and £24,261 in 2007/08.
The trust said: “We provide a basic cremation, consisting of a hearse which goes to the crematorium and a minister appropriate to the deceased’s faith/belief.”
It added: “It should be noted that these costs are gross costs. The trust is able to recover a proportion of these costs from the deceased patient’s estate, if there are sufficient funds.
“At present, the average cost of a public health funeral is approximately £700.”
The figures have been issued by the trust in response to a Freedom of Information request by Paul Ogden, who is conducting a survey into public health funerals in the UK.
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