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
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.
‘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’.
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.
‘What was the cause of
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.
There are 3 sections to this
question (a, b & c).
EACH MUST BE ANSWERED
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
• 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.
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
CHECK THAT YOU HAVE ANSWERED ALL THE QUESTIONS.
FAILURE TO ANSWER ONE OR MORE QUESTIONS IS A COMMON CAUSE OF A FORM BEING
If in doubt, always check
with the Medical Referee’s office