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Tell Us Once: a service that can help people at times of bereavement

For many people, dealing with all parts of government, especially when reporting changes, can require them to repeat and verify the same information to several departments, agencies and parts of local authorities.

People are often at their most vulnerable at times of bereavement and a recent death can directly impact on the amount and type of benefit and services people may receive from local or central government. Tell Us Once (TUO) is a cross-government service that enables people to inform parts of local and central government just once of a death.

After the service was initially piloted in a few local authorities it has gradually been rolled out across Great Britain. As of today there are 375 local authorities in Scotland, England and Wales offering the TUO service (92% of all local authorities). These cover 89% of the population.

A customer survey was completed in July 2013 which found 98% of people felt their overall experience of the service was good and they were willing to recommend it to others. Over 40,000 citizens used the service in April 2015 alone.

In Scotland, the service is available in the following locations: Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll & Bute, Clackmannanshire, Dumfries and Galloway, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh, Eilean Siar, Falkirk, Fife, Inverclyde, Midlothian, Moray, North Ayrshire, Perth & Kinross, Scottish Borders, Shetland Islands, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire and West Lothian. Most recently Dundee City and East Lothian have also started to offer the service.

Work is ongoing to negotiate with three Local Authorities not already offering the service to allow them to provide the service to their citizens.

Rod Burns, Deputy Registrar General for Scotland said:

"The move forward with delivering the Tell Us Once service in Scotland has been a really good example of partnership working across government. Likewise, National Records of Scotland wanted to improve the customer experience - as well as that of registrars. Feedback from registrars delivering Tell Us Once has been universally positive, from their own daily perspective, alongside the service making a significant improvement to citizens’ experience."

Tell Us Once Delivery Partnerships (TUODP) are working to raise awareness of the TUO service across relevant groups and a customer flyer is available to support this.

The project team would be delighted to hear from anyone who would like to get involved in this awareness activity, and can make a supply of the flyer available. They are also available to attend regional forums to do a presentation to explain the service and explore ideas on how to raise awareness across Scotland.

They are also keen to hear:

  • Any ideas on how to promote the service in your regions
  • Do you use information packs for families ahead of bereavement? If so, could the flyer become part of the suite of documents within those packs?

For more information please contact Michael Murphy, Tell Us Once Delivery Partnerships.

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