Incorrect death paperwork

Discussion in 'After dementia — dealing with loss' started by Pear trees, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. Pear trees

    Pear trees Registered User

    Jan 25, 2015
    I made an appointment to register my mum's death yesterday after her surgery confirmed their paperwork was ready for collection. However the registrar could not accept it as the doctor had not given cause of death, just pulmonary cardiac arrest and dementia. The registrar called the doctor who said he did not know what to put, as there was no cause of death except for old age (90), which would have been accepted.
    So we have to collect the hopefully correct paperwork and get to registrar by 10.30am as that is the only free slot, then straight to funeral directors. I live 90 minutes from my mum's town, more in rush hour.
    I was steaming mad and told the surgery that the doctor should stay out of my way, and to written apology!
  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    How distressing for you. Can I suggest that you check the paperwork before you leave the office? Because while "old age" can be a valid reason, it should also have the information about any other health issues.

  3. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    I remember feeling physically shocked when I read 'old age' on my mum's death certificate. It's such a dismissive phrase.
  4. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    On mums certificate it said "frailty of old age and dementia"

    BTW - I didnt think you were allowed to open the letter confirming death. I was specifically told that I had to leave it intact for the registrar.
  5. Registered User

    Jan 16, 2014
    #5, Oct 31, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2017
    Whilst dad's cause of death was correctly described as sepsis and advanced dementia the GP had neglected to write her Registration number on the cert.The registrar tried her best to contact GP while I was there but her day off so I too had to go back another day It is irritating especially as the Dr is paid a fee but the registrar told me GPs often make mistakes and have to be phoned. I would have thought that unless a pm was performed cardiac arrest and dementia was adequate...a GP certifying presumably would not be able to know the exact cause of a heart attack but could summise from medical history or obvious end of life factors.
  6. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    What is wrong with cardiac arrest and dementia as cause of death?
  7. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    Near Southampton
    The envelope confirming the certificate was open when my daughter collected my husband’s from the surgery.

    He suffered a number of health problems but the cause of death named was Aspiration pneumonia and Vascular dementia, the pneumonia being caused by his swallowing ability being compromised by the dementia.
    I too, would have thought that the cause given by the doctor was sufficient.
    If a cremation is likely then it will have to be supported by a second doctor too.
  8. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    I think it's horrid for you to have paperwork delays, Pear Trees. Here's hoping no more mistakes or annoyances for you.
  9. Pear trees

    Pear trees Registered User

    Jan 25, 2015
    Thanks for all your support. Apparently cardiac arrest is a result, not a cause, and is not accepted for a home death on its own, new form said old age and dementia. The surgery mislaid the paperwork and kept asking me to come back later in the afternoon despite being told by registrar and myself the appointment was 11.00am - I refused to go until they sorted it.
    In both cases the envelopes were not sealed.
  10. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    When William died, it was a Bank Holiday. I didn't know at the time, but apparently all deaths in Nursing Homes here, the Coroner's office has to be notified. Somehow, it wasn't done. William's own GP had to issue the Cause of Death certificate, and she was on holidays. However, the Out of Hours doctor pronounced him dead, the Nursing Home released his body to the funeral directors, and he was buried a week later. Then I got the Cause of Death certificate from his GP, and went to the Registrar to register the death and get the Death certificate. To my shock, the registrar said she couldn't issue the Death Certificate, because the Coroner's office hadn't been notified. I was so upset, and burst into tears, and the Registrar had to reassure me that no, of course they wouldn't have to dig poor William up!
  11. 100 miles

    100 miles Registered User

    Apr 16, 2015
    Pear trees,

    I had a very similar problem. The out of hours doctor was present at death. My mother's GP gave me a cause of death letter even though he was one day over the limit for seeing the patient and so the death should have been referred to the coroner. The register office couldn't accept the cause of death certificate and contacted the coroner, who asked for confirmation from the GP that there were no possible problems with the cause of death.

    It was the GP's day off but the register office raised merry hell with the surgery and told them if the GP wanted the day off he should have done his work properly. Confirmation was duly received and I got the death certificate only an hour late. Great service from Register Office.

    I hope everything has been sorted for you by now.

    100 miles

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