County councillor for Bewbush and Ifield West, Chris Oxlade is pleased that Crawley residents will now benefit from added support at the worst possible time of life, when a loved one passes away as West Sussex County Council has signed up to the ‘Tell Us Once’ service from the Department of Work and Pensions.
Early in 2012, the Department for Work and Pensions launched a new ‘Tell us Once’ service. This enables families dealing with the death of a loved one to report that death only once and saves them having to notify 28 local and central government services. According to the Department for Work and Pensions as of June 2012, last year 80% of local authorities were making this service available and they were expecting to achieve 95% coverage, although West Sussex County Council had yet to sign up to the scheme.
In October 2012, Chris Oxlade asked in the county council’s full council meeting “Can the Cabinet Member tell me why the ‘Tell us Once’ service is not being offered to residents of West Sussex at present?” to which WSCC answered they were looking at complex information technology issues, but hoped to have the service as soon as possible.
At the recent WSCC full council meeting at the end of 2013 Cabinet Member Lionel Barnard announced he “has approved the introduction to the registration service of a ‘Tell Us Once’ system for the County Council whereby permission will be sought from the person registering a death to pass on information about the death to other County Council departments. This information will be provided to services such as community equipment providers, Adults’ Services and the Library Service. The aim of the new service is to remove the need for the informant to communicate with each department individually at a difficult and stressful time.”
Chris Oxlade said;
“I have used the ‘Tell us once’ service in Surrey after close relatives passed away at East Surrey Hospital and I questioned why this excellent service wasn’t being provided by West Sussex County Council. I would to pass on my thanks to Cllr Lionel Barnard who has brought in the scheme, which will ease the burden at the worst possible time for thousands of families”
Cllr Brenda Smith, said “I’m very pleased this has come forward as it a huge benefit to families in difficult times”