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Battle to tackle backlog of 1,800 Norfolk babies yet to be registered due to coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 10:43 18 October 2020 | UPDATED: 10:43 18 October 2020

Norfolk registrars are working through a backlog of 1,800 unregistered births. Pic: Archant Library.

Norfolk registrars are working through a backlog of 1,800 unregistered births. Pic: Archant Library.

Archant

More than 1,800 babies born in Norfolk this year have yet to have their births registered, as council officers try to clear a backlog created by coronavirus.

More than 1,800 babies born in Norfolk have yet to be regstered due to the coronavirus pandemic. Pic: James Bass.More than 1,800 babies born in Norfolk have yet to be regstered due to the coronavirus pandemic. Pic: James Bass.

Norfolk County Council closed its registration offices in March, when restrictions were brought in, which meant parents of babies born during lockdown were not able to register births.

At one point, Norfolk had a backlog of 2,500 unregistered children - despite it being a legal requirement for births to be registered within 42 days.

While the county council had allowed people to notify the council of a child’s birth online, that was not the same as registering a birth.

Since registration offices reopened, the council has been contacting those parents to ask them to attend offices to get births registered.

The backlog of unregistered babies born before the start of July has been reduced to 800, but there have been a further 1,000 births since.

A Norfolk County Council spokeswoman said: “Since the restrictions on birth registrations were lifted in July, the backlog of registrations dating before July 1 has been reduced to 800, with a further 1,000 added since July.

“Our registrars are working hard to further reduce this number, as well as maintaining our level of service for ceremonies and death registration.”

And there are concerns that some parents might not have been in touch with the council.

The spokeswoman said: “While we’re confident that most parents will have notified us of their children’s birth, we would urge any that haven’t to do so immediately.

“If your baby was born in Norfolk before July 1 2020 and you have not yet registered the birth, please complete our ‘Notify us of a Birth’ form on the website and we will contact you to arrange an appointment.

“For births from July 1 onwards, please complete the same form so that we have contact details for you and we will be in touch as soon as we can.

“We will continue to register births in date order but if there are special circumstances why you need to register sooner, please contact our customer services centre directly.

“We’re thankful to new parents across Norfolk for their patience and understanding at the complex time.”


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