Since 1st January 2009 new forms are required to arrange and authorise the cremation of someone who has died. Some crematoria will print forms and issue these to doctors and funeral directors, but the forms can also be found on the website of the Ministry of Justice http://www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/cremation.htm together with guidance for the various people involved.
The new forms are part of the process of improving safeguards for the public following the recommendations in the Shipman Reports. They will remain in place until there is a change in legislation which will introduce identical procedures for all deaths regardless of whether someone is to be buried or cremated.
The most significant change is that families of the deceased now have the right to inspect the forms completed by medical staff (Cremation 4 and 5). You will be informed of this by your funeral director, but it is very important that you tell the funeral director if you would like to exercise this right. If you have concerns about what has been written as the cause of death you should discuss this with the doctor who issued the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death before going to the Registrar of Deaths. To inspect the forms you need to make an appointment with the Crematorium Office so it is important you give your funeral director contact details so that you can be informed as soon as they have arrived. You then have 48 hours in which to see them – it is essential that you take these timescales into account when you are thinking about the date for the funeral.
The most commonly used forms are:
- Cremation 1: Application for cremation of the body of a person who has died.
The funeral director will usually assist you with this form.The crematorium will also usually have its own form asking you for instructions on what to do with the Cremated Remains (Ashes).
- Cremation 4: Usually completed by the doctor who completed the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death.
- Cremation 5: Completed by an experienced doctor who was not looking after the person who died.
These forms are usually requested by the funeral director and collected by them on your behalf and delivered to the crematorium. However some hospitals/doctors will ask whether you will be arranging a burial or cremation so they can complete these forms promptly.There is a charge for these forms which forms part of the 'disbursements' charged by the funeral director.
- Cremation 6: The certificate issued by the Coroner if there has been a coroner's post mortem examination. Used in all cases when there has been a coroner's post mortem whether there is to be an inquest or not. Replaces the green form from the Registrar in these circumstances.
- Cremation 10: Authorisation of cremation of deceased person by medical referee.This is the final document issued by the doctor who works at the crematorium which allows the cremation to take place.