Tuesday, April 10, 2007


I shall attempt to write this post without using the copious 4 letter words and foul mouthed language that I have been using an hour ago. The NHS has reared its inefficient, uncaring head again.

A brief recap; on Thursday 5th March a Doctor specifically came out to see Mick so that in the event of his death he would not have to have an autopsy. It would be a bit pointless as it had been considered that he would not live beyond July 2005.

Due to Mick passing away on Good Friday we had to wait until this morning to go to our surgery to obtain the death certificate.. As soon as the surgery opened at 8.30 am I went in and explained what I needed to the receptionist. She assured me that the Doctor would get it done today and would phone me as soon as the certificate was ready for collection.

We waited.........waited some more............then we waited a bit more.............did some work in the garden while we waited.......finished that....still waiting...............4 pm the phone went; despite running I didn't get to it quick enough before the caller rang off; I redialed the number as I could see on our caller display that it was the surgery..............the receptionist had no idea who had phoned so I explained that it could have been a call re the death certificate....she put me through to Doctor who said the doctor who came to see Mick was away for a long weekend and so the certificate would not be done until he got back. Wouldn't you have thought someone could have told us that earlier....NOT leave us sitting around all day when there are so many other things we could have been doing and family members we could have visited!!!!

It appears that the "law of the land" decrees that only the doctor who saw Mick previous to death can sign the certificate. Ok so this is the law and I can't fight that but wouldn't you think out of common decency and humanity SOMEONE could have just phoned and let us know!!!! instead of letting us stew!!!!

I spoke to the Hospice Nurse and asked her what happens if the doctor has an accident or falls sick....will Mick then have to have an autopsy!!! She admitted she didn't know and would phone me back. Surprisingly she did!......it seems the doctor in question is back at work tomorrow but at a different surgery which is a whole 5 minutes by car away from ours....therefore we will have to wait till Thursday for him to do anything. I protested my anger "*************" and said Lynn would pick him up and take him to our surgery so he can write it out if needed!!!...the nurse says she will speak to him tomorrow to try and get it sorted. I hope she does because I have arrangements that need to be made. We have already been told by the Funeral Directors that the earliest date possible is 25th April and that's only IF we can quickly get the death certificate before anyone else needs to take the date!


  1. Why if a doctor has recorded his visit and decided that death is imminent cannot any qualified doctor write out the death certificate?*

  2. Why cannot a surgery have some respect for grieving relatives and make a simple phone call to explain any problems?

  3. Why in this age of technology and modern transport cannot a doctor in a surgery 5 minutes away from another get of his a**e and write a certificate?

End of rant you'll be pleased to know.....that's until I start on some of the family members!!!

*just to clarify as I think I did not explain it well during my rant moment; Mick was, of course, seen by a doctor after he passed away; this doctor only verifies death....the doctor who saw Mick BEFORE he passed away has to actually write the certificate out.

16 visitors have commented:

talj said...

Oh Ruth, I am standing right behind you to give that doctor a damn good kick too! How terrible of them! I hope you get the certificate tomorrow and can begin to get things arranged. I would like to say I am lost for words at their behaviour but sadly, it doesn't surprise me at all.

{{{HUGS}}} and lots of love to you and the girls xxx

Jacquie said...

I am lost for words! I hope it gets sorted out soon.

Gledwood said...

They'd NEVER issue one in advance - imagine the fraud that people might try on ...

Having said that: why does a "caring profession" turn out to be so callous? I have no idea. I have met doctors with all the commonsense of a dewberry others can be so in tune it can make you cry. Really I think it's a mixture of a sign of the times we live in ++ a result of NHS attempted reforms desperate to show results but barking up the wrong tree.

O ... I won't go on ...

I hope your evening was better than your day!

Icarus said...

Oh, Ruth how terrible. how perplexing. how shameful. I could go on & on, like you. You have to stay reasonably calm, colleected and be very assertive & firm with them. As it is, I can'tbelieve that you'd have to wait till 25 April for the funeral.
It must really have given you a kick in the teeth, that is unutterably callous of them.
Be very well, it is sure to fall into place in good time, like tomorrow. Very saddened & sorry for you. Big love, SXXX

Audrey said...

Im too am lost for words Ruth at the lack of sensitivity and understanding shown by these professionals. The nurse I hope will kick butt on your behalf, as she will have a better understanding of how important this is and that you will have the certificate tommorrow.

Im so sorry you have had to experience this callous lack of respect and inefficiency yet again.

Lots of love and hugsxxxxxAuds

Claire said...

My forte! expletives, what a gang of effing bastards!

If i thought it would help i would arrange to kidnap said doctor and force him to sign the bloody certificate!

My blood is boiling, i am off to howl at the moon!

Hopefully tomo will be better,


Sheila said...

Shameful. Why do 'people' always say that's 'the law' and 'that's the way it must be done' when you know damn well they do what they like any other time.
I hope you get what you need ASAP,

Mousie said...

I just can't imagine...are you terribly unlucky with NHS or is it the same for everybody? really really it's so stupid...they' haven't got the faintest idea of what people are going through...is it they don't care? is it they aren't organized at all?
so you 're right to be angry, you have the right to say as many slang words as you like if it does you good...
I just don't know what to say to relieve a bit of all that stress you don't need...
just I hold you in my arm, get a nice cupa ready and take you for a little walk in the garden
love from Mousie

CG said...

Words fail me, Ruth, it is just so bloody ridiculous. Have these people never suffered a loss themselves that they can't understand how you must be feeling? I have to say my own doctors surgery have always been great but maybe we are just very lucky!! {{HUGS}}

Sylvia said...

I wish I were there with you. I would be in line to give the doctor a kick as well and maybe even a good earful of how inconsiderate they are.

Auntie Noo said...

I can't really understand why they sent a doctor that was going away for a long weekend anyway??? - Not very logical was it bearing in mind the reason for the visit??? I am no longer ever surprised by the ineptitude of the NHS though, unfortunately. Hope it has got sorted by now?

Jenny said...

Shocking how insensitive the bureaucracy can be - I assume if you were rolling in money they'd all be at your feet, overflowing with concern for you at this very delicate time (or some such), making sure everything was taken care of immediately -- it's all such bull**** !!

Akelamalu said...

Bureaucracy!!!! This just shouldn't happen.

AnalĂ­a said...

Oh Ruth, I hope the problem be solved by now! Let me tell you something...first I agree with all the comments you have gotten here, and second, you are more than allowed to say any of those four leter words here too! I have a long list, in case you run out of them...(this is the first thing we learn when studying a new language!!) and in some cases by saying them you can feel sooo relieved.
Bureaucracy?....same here.

Love, Ani (back to bed)

mrsnesbitt said...

Ruth, Elsie is waiting to sink her big teeth into the doctor's **** (swear word for bum!)
insensitive & bloody thoughtless (my mum used to say bloody)

Sending you hugs!


Dirty Butter said...

I know how urgent emotionally it's been for me to get as many things as possible FINISHED or at least STARTED! We don't have the death certificate yet, after several weeks, but we didn't need it to have the funeral.

I'm dealing with the bureaucracy of Medicare, but it doesn't sound nearly as frustrating as the NHS!! Mick would be kicking b.... for SURE!!!