Author Topic: Registering a death  (Read 1033 times)

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Registering a death
« on: August 05, 2019, 04:58:38 pm »
As some of you good people are aware, my aunt Phyllis died last Wednesday. As her next of kin and executor, I immediately set to work doing the things that executors do.

Her death was confirmed at 6.55pm by paramedics. The manager of the care home advised me to collect the death certificate from the GP the following day so on Thursday I set about trying to do this.

Our family doctor told me that he did not have enough information to issue a death certificate. I contacted the care home again. They told me that the paramedics will have entered the details on Phyllis's medical record and the doctor should have access to that.

On Friday I spoke to the doctor again. He assured me that I would have the death certificate on Monday (today) as it would need to be signed by a second doctor. Dr. One had not seen Phyllis in the last fortnight of her life. Dr. Two, he thought, had. In fact, it was 6 weeks ago that Dr. Two saw Phyllis as he came round to our house on his bike in order to do so.

On the basis that obtaining a death certificate for a 100-year-old who had spent the last 6 weeks of her life in hospital or in a care home ought to be a bit of a formality, I set about arranging the funeral and asked the Co-op to book the crematorium for 19th August. However. I have this afternoon received a call from Dr. One that he has referred this case to the coroner's office.

Given that Phyllis was in hospital less than a fortnight before she died, and that one of the consultants told us that the cause of death "pneumonia" would be entered on Phyllis's death certificate, I would have thought that one of those doctors would be in a position to issue a death certificate. I suppose that such doctors might, theoretically at least, feel somewhat professionally compromised given that a patient discharged from hospital on 20th July as "medically fit" should be dead within a fortnight. However, we live in interesting times...

I have spoken to the coroner's office, and one of their representatives has indeed phoned me back to say that Phyllis's case is with them. I am hoping that everything will be tickety-boo for Monday 19th, but this does feel very like starring in some dystopian black comedy.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Re: Registering a death
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2019, 05:28:12 pm »
Correct me if I'm wrong [or I'm sure somebody will], but going on what happened when my father died in hospital last year, It's very normal for deaths occurring in a hospital to be referred to the coroners office. In my fathers case, it was after a dialysis session, and the coroner was involved immediately, the result of which the renal consultant dealing with my father was prevented from issuing a death certificate. The coroner contacted me and explained what information had been provided by the renal department and would be asking for blood pressure readings etc We knew his situation was very precarious and life takes its course. It's a bit frustrating at the time, but I have to say, everybody I dealt with was very efficient.

I remember receiving a call from a hospital doctor some days after Dad died, who had nothing whatsoever to do with my father, but whose job it was to check the facts of the case and make sure the bereaved were 'happy' that everything was ok. He was telling me that some of these procedural things were bought in after the good Mr Shipman had made his presence known to the world.

I think it's a case of checks and balances - [gone mad sometimes it seems] - and to make sure nothing suspicious has taken place.
Garry Broad

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Registering a death
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2019, 05:35:31 pm »
I hope it's sorted out soon, Wowbagger.

My dad's death certificate was not an issue. The burial arrangements were, and they actually were like something out of an Iain Banks novel. It led to me, my sister's ex partner, and her new bf spending two days hand digging the grave on a Scottish hillside, in December. There was sleet.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Registering a death
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2019, 05:55:04 pm »
There are two kinds of certificate:
The first needs only one doctor and is needed to register the death. It should be completed by a doctor who has attended the deceased in their final illness.

The second is the three part Cremation Certificate. Its purpose is to ensure any evidence of foul play does not go up in smoke. The first part is usually completed by the doctor who issued the Death Certificate. There's quite a long list of questions to answer and the doctor completing it MUST have attended the patient in life and seen and identified the body after death. The second part is completed by a doctor who has been fully registered for 5 years. This doctor is supposed to discuss matters with the doctor who completed the first part, to ensure all is in order. The third part is Authority to Cremate, usually signed by the Medical Referee to the crematorium, when all is in order.

In Aunt P's case, I'm sad to see this obviously natural death has been referred to the Coroner for further action. A hospital doctor who had attended P should have been in a position to do the certificates. They would have seen her in the fortnight before her death. A helpful Coroner's Officer can sometimes co-ordinate suitable certification.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Registering a death
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2019, 09:25:59 am »
All OK now. I was very impressed with the efficiency o the Chelmsford Coroner's Office. I have the medical certificate of cause of death in front of me, and an appointment at the registry office at 3.10 this afternoon to actually register the death.

I also have Phyllis's birth certificate and a small card bearing her NI number. It was issued by the Ministry of National Insurance and was sent On His Majesty's Service in 1949.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Re: Registering a death
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2019, 09:50:12 am »
Sorry to hear of your loss, it's a tough time and not made easier by officaldom. Prepare for a wait at the registry office, they write everything out by hand and are notorious for running late (well our local one is) and saying to people who have late in the day appointments to come back on another day. Not nice when you're already emotionally stressed.

In terms of coping with officialdom the Government Tell us Once service is actually very good. We used it for the Mother in Laws death last year without a hitch.
https://idp-tell-us-someone-died.dwp.gov.uk/Death/Enrich/BeforeYouStart?wa=wsignin1.0&wtrealm=urn%3aTellUsOnce%3arealms%3aTuoCitizenSts&wctx=597b3ce4-e2e8-474c-840e-ddb9845db019&wct=2019-08-07T08%3a47%3a50Z&wfresh=0&whr=urn%3aTellUsOnce%3arealms%3aTuoCitizenIdp

 

PaulF

  • "World's Scariest Barman"
  • It's only impossible if you stop to think about it
Re: Registering a death
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2019, 10:07:13 am »
Sorry for your loss. Based on my experience registering my mother’s death last year it’s worth checking the certificate; the doctor who signed my mother’s forgot to date it! As they were part time nd the surgery refused to contact them we had to wait another week to register. All credit to the registrar; they were very sympathetic and flexible with rearranging the appointment.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Registering a death
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2019, 05:02:56 pm »
I praised the efficiency of the coroner's office. They were so efficient they forgot to enter the cause of death on the form. I have to go back tomorrow.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Registering a death
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2019, 08:08:41 pm »
OOops!

Old Age is a permissible cause of death in the very aged.

Re: Registering a death
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2019, 08:19:11 pm »
Unless I'm mistaken, old age (that's not the term they use) was the reason given for my Dad's passing.
He was 85.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Registering a death
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2019, 08:22:53 pm »
The medical certificate gave a choice of three:

Lung congestion (pneumonia)
Atrial fibrillation
TIA.

I don't think it was any of them. I think she just faded away - I reckon her heart just slowed down and ground to a halt.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Registering a death
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2019, 09:18:40 pm »
Having never met the lady, I would have gone for

1a)   Pneumonia  due to
1b)   Immobility and frailty  due to
1c)   Old Age


Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Registering a death
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2019, 11:27:11 pm »
Death registered. Things I learned:

1. The registrars ask you to sign in fountain pen. They have great confidence in the longevity of Indian ink. Phyllis's birth certificate is still clearly legible.

2. Registrars, it seems, never use post codes. I asked about this and was told that there was never a space on the forms for a post code and no-one has ever used them in registry offices.

3. Death certificates are £11 each and it doesn't matter whether you buy them when you register, or order extras later on. This, is seems, is a recent innovation and it was always cheaper to buy them up-front.

4. We used the "Tell us once" facility. In one website visit, having submitted Phyllis's national insurance number, the DWP, HMRC, Essex County Council and others are told about her demiase, and I won't need to provide copies of the death certificate for them.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Registering a death
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2019, 11:16:19 am »
1. The registrars ask you to sign in fountain pen.

As barakta and I discovered when we got civilised:  One of our witnesses is left-handed and dyspraxic, and therefore a liability with fountain pens.  They extremely grudgingly allowed them to practice on a bit of paper that was officially destroyed afterwards, from which I assume there's something obscure about the ink recipe for the purposes of detecting forgeries.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

PaulF

  • "World's Scariest Barman"
  • It's only impossible if you stop to think about it
Re: Registering a death
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2019, 11:28:46 am »
Death registered. Things I learned:

3. Death certificates are £11 each and it doesn't matter whether you buy them when you register, or order extras later on. This, is seems, is a recent innovation and it was always cheaper to buy them up-front.


That would seem to have happened in the last year as last July I was told it was cheaper to get extra copies at the time.

Re: Registering a death
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2019, 12:22:41 pm »
We were also given the advice that if an organisation owes you (the estate) money and want an official copy of the death certificate then you do need to give them an official copy, but if you owe them money a photo copy will do and they probably can't do lot about it and it saves you the £11 cost.