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Important update regarding Cremation Form 4 and Medical Certificate of Cause of Death


The LMC have made some changes to the Cremation Form 4 process. If you use the PRISM version on SystmOne there is now an option to digitally sign the document.

A completed cremation form 4 contains confidential information and due to this should not be sent via email unless there is encryption. Otherwise, there is a risk that a breach of data protection regulations may occur. It has been agreed that when sending the form to a funeral director, the practice should use an NHS mail account using the embedded Egress encryption service. Guidance on how to use this is attached, and is also available via the PRISM form.

There have been repeated errors in completing both the Cremation Form 4 and the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD). These: slow down the process; are causing registrars, crematoria and coroners additional work; and have caused delays for funerals.

Common errors include:

  1. Inappropriate referral to the Coroner. Please note that the Coronavirus Act changed the requirement for the deceased to have been seen prior to death from 14 to 28 days. In addition, this can be by any registered medical practitioner, not just the signing GP. This includes any hospital doctor who had seen the patient with the 28 days. Please see the guide as to how to complete the MCCD which was sent out previously and is attached again.

  2. Not including the full name and GMC number for the doctor who saw the patient prior to death on the MCCD. You can look up any doctor’s GMC number on the GMC website at https://www.gmc-uk.org/registration-and-licensing/the-medical-register.

  3. Not emailing the MCCD to the right registrar. It should be sent to the registrar service which covers the place at which the death occurred. The email addresses of all three registrar services in LLR are on the attached guidance.

  4. Not keeping the original MCCDs and posting them to the correct registrar each month. Please remember that the MCCD is a legal document. Each one which is lost has to be reported to the General Register Office.

  5. Cremation Form 4 not being completed by a registered medical practitioner. It is a legal requirement for the form to be completed by a doctor and cannot be delegated to other staff. In addition, the form must be digitally or manually signed. The changes to the PRISM form.

At this time when the rate of death has increased and all services are stretched it would be helpful if we could all try and ensure a smooth process.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact Dr Grant Ingrams (grant.ingrams@llrlmc.co.uk)

Attached documents:


January 2021


Updated on Wednesday, 14 April 2021, 1380 views

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