A "burning Issue" !! - GPs to lose reimbursement for filling out cremation forms

Pulse reports….GPs are set to lose out on reimbursement fees for filling out cremation forms from 2014 despite retaining much of the burden of the paperwork involved. Something that appears to have slipped under almost everyone's radar.

The Government has confirmed that the reforms of the death certification process, set out to coroners in September last year and due to come into effect from April 2014, will mean only the ‘medical examiner’ will be allowed to fill out cremation forms and GPs will no longer be paid the £76 for each form - called form 4 and 5 - that they currently fill out. Birmingham LMC executive secretary Dr Bob Morley is reported as saying: ‘I don’t think this is a major source of income for most GPs. There are a few with specialist roles, for example those who provide care for hospices for whom it potentially is a more significant source of income. But it is all part of the overall squeeze on income in general practice at the moment, a small part of a much bigger picture.’

A Department of Health spokesperson said: ‘A unified and robust system of scrutiny of deaths by a local medical examiner will replace the current system of checks and forms for cremations that do not need a coroner investigation. The new local medical examiner service that will carry out this work will be run by local authorities.’

However, GPs have warned that practices will still have to provide paperwork and contact next of kin.

The Full DH advice to Coronors is set out here.

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