"Bad advice and patient leaflets"

About: Royal Berkshire Hospital

Following a death in A&E the nursing team and others at this hospital advised my family the body could only be released to a Funeral Director employed by the family. This is not required. Legally the body can be realised to the family who may wish to hold a DIY burial or cremation. It is disgusting the hospital is providing bad advice and working closely with local funeral directors to ensure relatives are sucked in to pay for unnecessary services.

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Response from Royal Berkshire Hospital

We are very sorry for your bereavement and that you were misinformed following the death of your family member. Our Trust does not endorse the use of any particular undertaker and our bereavement team are more than happy to advise people on what paperwork and procedures are necessary for alternative funeral options. They have done this on several previous occasions so we are sorry that you were not directed to them for support. Our Bereavement Support booklet does touch upon various choices relating to private burials/cremation services but the vast majority of relatives choose to leave these arrangements to a funeral director which is why most of the information in the booklet relates to that. However, when the booklet is next due for review, the team will ensure a statement is added about arrangements for the release of the deceased for a family led/DIY funeral so that relatives and staff are aware that option exists.

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