The Professionals' Response to Direct Cremation

Over the last year we have had a fantastically positive response from most of the professionals we interact with when looking after clients who pass away in a non-hospital setting. They tell us how impressed they are by our swift response, the care our team demonstrate and our unique ability to make life a little easier for time-poor GPs.

Pure Cremation is the only independently-owned national direct cremation provider with the ability to offer complete, end-to-end care to clients who pass away at home or in a nursing home.

We have worked hard to develop a process that makes this possible but each week we spend valuable time gently explaining the difference between customary practice and genuine legal requirements when it comes to cremation paperwork.

Most GPs, even those responsible for care home residents, will only deal with a few deaths a year and so there is rehearsed and familiar routine, unchanged for nearly a century, that helps ensure they "get it right": 1. Wait for the call from the funeral director who has the body, 2. Arrange to visit to examine the deceased and complete the first Medical Certificate for Cremation 3. Ask another local GP to visit the funeral home and complete the second Medical Certificate for Cremation and 4. Collect the fee due. Job done.

Given that doctors get paid for this simple certification it is disappointing that there is a growing resistance toward attending funeral homes outside the practice catchment area, with some GPs even refusing to visit if a non-local funeral home has performed the initial collection. This has three potential implications – reducing family choice, delaying the funeral and increasing the costs.

This negative reaction against any change to the customary procedure affects us too. Huffy receptionists loudly protest that the GP "can't and won't travel from Manchester to Newbury…" If only they'd give us a chance to explain how we make life easier for the GP than ever before!

The same huffy people throw care home staff into confusion and distress the bereaved families by declaring (quite incorrectly) that the Medical Cause of Death Certificate can't be issued until the GP has seen the body and then go on to question our prompt attendance.

Times have changed and these days, unless the death occurs during normal surgery hours it is highly unlikely that the deceased's own GP will attend to verify the fact of death and a care home or family simply cannot wait three days for a post mortem visit.

Thankfully, most GP's "get it" and do all they can to support each family's choice. They like our process because it saves them time and effort but still generates the full fee; and we're always happy to talk through any questions, showing how the "Pure Way" overcomes the issue of distance and how it makes perfect sense for them as well as the bereaved family.

The Pure Cremation Customer Care Team know that our style of service will remain novel for some time to come, and so we'll just continue demonstrating our expertise and educating the occasional dinosaur - even if this sometimes takes all the patience we can muster! 

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Monday, 18 December 2017

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