How to Complete a Cremation Form


Please read this carefully, even if you have completed cremation forms in areas outside of Coventry. Some cremation referees allow inadequately completed forms to slip through, whilst here we try hard to avoid this.

Try to understand the purpose of every question, each one has a purpose and every question must be answered in full. Do not use abbreviations and above all make sure that you do not leave any questions unanswered.
The cremation form is a legal document and should be completed with great care and accuracy.  The cremation referee can not let a cremation go ahead if he/she is not satisfied that the form has been completed correctly.

Information on specific questions:


Question 8  
‘How soon after death did you see the body.....’
Do not answer vaguely, be specific stating how many minutes, hours or days
‘....and what examination of it did you make?’

IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU EXAMINE THE BODY YOURSELF TO CONFIRM DEATH.  It doesn’t matter if a death certificate has been given by another doctor, however senior they may be.  The fact that the body is in a mortuary does not prove that it is dead.

YOU MUST SPECIFY WHAT EXAMINATION OF THE BODY YOU MADE and that must include at least two of the following systems: cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous. Avoid vague terms like ‘inspection’ or ‘vital signs’.

Question 8a
‘Post Mortem’

If a post mortem has been carried out, you must state that you know it has been carried out.  You must also state that you know the result, the form is invalid if you do not.  Avoid statements like, ‘result will be available later’ - this is not acceptable.

Question 9

‘What was the cause of death?’
Do not put the mode of death (eg. exhaustion, syncope) but the cause i.e. a diagnosis.  Where the cause is carcinomatosis state site of primary, if the site is unknown, state - site of primary unknown.

Question 16
There are 3 sections to this question (a, b & c).
EACH MUST BE ANSWERED SEPARATELY. (Do not bracket them together).

Other important information:

• Do not forget to answer the questions in red at the bottom of the second page relating to pacemakers and radioactive material.  A physical inspection of the deceased is essential to determine the presence of a pacemaker.

• Make sure you sign and date the form.

• The address must be the full name of the hospital and town i.e. : Walsgrave Hospitals NHS Trust, Coventry

Do not sign the form then expect to examine the deceased at a later time, once the paperwork is complete the Funeral Director can and will collect the deceased – you will have no body to examine.

DO NOT USE YOUR HOME ADDRESS

• Do not use abbreviations, even if you think they are well recognised i.e. Ca, VVS, CCF. They may be misunderstood.

Finally, before dispatching the forms:
CHECK THAT YOU HAVE ANSWERED ALL THE QUESTIONS. FAILURE TO ANSWER ONE OR MORE QUESTIONS IS A COMMON CAUSE OF A FORM BEING UNACCEPTABLE.

If in doubt, always check with the Medical Referee’s office 024 76418055/76415886.