A West Sussex service has been helping to alleviate pressure on the recently bereaved. Around 5,800 residents used the ‘Tell Us Once’ service last year which helps reduce some of the strain when a loved one dies.
Used for more than two thirds of all registered deaths in the county, the free Tell Us Once service notifies multiple government and council agencies about a recorded death from a single point of contact.
Residents in a few counties, including West Sussex, also have access to a more unique service via the Coroner’s team.
County Council Cabinet Member for Stronger, Safer Communities, Debbie Kennard, said: “When the cause of death is unknown then it is referred to our Coroner but this can take a bit longer to process. In the past this meant that when a death is ‘registered’ it was too late to use the Tell Us Once service.
“But with around 3,000 deaths referred to the Coroner each year, the team decided to take matters into their own hands and register the deceased’s details onto the Tell Us Once website so families can use it straightaway.
“We are one of the few local authorities that offer this special service and it has already made a difference. It can help make a stressful situation that little bit easier.”
The Tell Us Once resource notifies organisations including the HMRC, DVLA and council services through the Department of Work and Pensions with a single phone call or online registration.
Last year, in 2016/17, there were 8,730 deaths in the county and 5,845 used the Tell Us Once Service.
The Tell Us Once Service then went on to notify individual County Council services – a total of 9,500 notifications across libraries, adult social services, Blue Badge services and concessionary travel. This meant 9,500 fewer times that residents have had to contact individual County Council departments plus even more contacts avoided with other organisations including Council Tax and Identity and Passport Services.
Debbie Kennard said: “I’m pleased to see so many people in West Sussex continuing to use the service nearly two years after it was first launched here.
“We want to relieve our residents’ minds of worry at a sensitive time when their thoughts should be with loved ones.”