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Published 8th Dec 2011

Young family

Middlesbrough Council has teamed up with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to deliver Tell Us Once, a new service that automatically notifies relevant government departments and service authorities of a family’s birth or bereavement.

Under the new service, a local registrar can now support a new parent or recently bereaved person through a step-by-step process that will automatically notify central and local governments of their change in circumstances.

By notifying up to 28 different services on their behalf, Tell Us Once is a much easier way for bereaved families and new parents to report their change in circumstances to the relevant authorities. Overall, a person using Tell Us Once can expect to contact government seven fewer times when compared to previous arrangements.

Tell Us Once programme director Lyn McDonald says: “We’ve done away with the red tape that usually confronts a person wanting to report a change in their circumstances to government.

“In a single appointment with their local registrar, a person can notify all the relevant government departments and service authorities of their circumstances.

“It’s a service that saves time and money. We’re providing a simple process that responds to the specific needs of people who need to be with their families and not on the phone to government authorities.”

Each year there are 575,000 deaths and 770,000 births nationally. Without Tell Us Once, it would cost UK residents £50m over 10 years to notify government of their change in circumstances. Overall, if the current arrangements were continued, the cost to customers and government would be £1.1bn over 10 years.

The total benefits of Tell Us Once over 10 years are £260m, including a £190m saving to government.

A spokesman for Middlesbrough Council said: “These are times in everybody’s lives better spent with family than dealing with government. Tell Us Once removes red tape and gives time back to families when they need it most.

“When something as major as a birth or death happens in a family, we understand that the last thing anybody wants to be doing is dealing with government administration.

“Tell Us Once turns what has been a traditionally cumbersome process into a fast and efficient service.”

Useful links

Reporting a bereavement

Reporting a birth






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