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GPs warned after undertakers drive dead patients into practice car parks

Exclusive An LMC has issued a warning to GPs after reports that undertakers are driving dead patients into GP practice car parks to make it more ‘convenient’ for doctors to issue cremation certificates on-site.

Wessex LMCs said the practice risked bringing GPs into disrepute and could be ‘distressing’ for bereaved patients and families visiting the surgery.

A newsletter to GPs said: ‘The office has come across instances of undertakers bringing deceased patients into GP car parks in order to avoid inconveniencing the GP providing cremation certification.  We would strongly advise against this on the grounds of the distress it would cause to the family and your other patients if they discover this practice happening.’

Dr Nigel Watson, chief executive of Wessex LMCs, told Pulse that one incident had been reported locally but said he was aware the practice was also occurring in other parts of the country.

‘We were contacted by an undertaker who had brought the deceased body back in a hearse to be seen in a practice car park,’ he said.

‘This has happened elsewhere in the country. The potential for distress is huge and we have given advice to make sure it doesn’t happen.’