Update to Guidance on Cremation Regulations to Medical Practitioners and Medical Referees

November 21, 2019   //   No Comments

SAIF has received an update regarding guidance on the Cremation Regulations. This is due to the number of queries that the Coroners, Burials, Cremations and Inquiries Policy Team received in relation to how the guidance addresses what was the old ’24 hour rule’ where deaths within 24 hours to a hospital admission were reported to a coroner and how the expectation that the cremation form 4 doctor had attended the deceased in the 14 days before death should now work.

All
references to 24 hours have been removed and there is no requirement in law for
a death to be reported to a coroner on the basis that it occurred with a
certain period of time after admission to hospital.

They
continue to advise that the cremation form 4 doctor should have attended the
deceased within 14 days of death however this should not preclude, if
necessary, a doctor whose attendance took place in a longer timeframe from
having adequately attended the deceased. In particular the doctor who meets the
criteria for completing the medical certificate cause of death (MCCD) for the
deceased should be considered as suitable to complete the cremation form 4. The
guidance has also been amended to provide greater clarity on this point. If
there is no medical practitioner who is required or able to complete an MCCD
then the Notification of Deaths Regulations 2019 provide that the death should
be notified to the coroner.

Useful government website links:

Medical practitioners – guidance on completing cremation forms

Crematorium medical referees guidance on cremation forms