HC Deb 08 February 2001 vol 362 c656W
Sir Nicholas Lyell

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish(a) the verbatim guidelines about how dignity and respect for deceased patients should be ensured, as issued by his Department in May 2000, and (b) the letter written by the NHS Chief Executive to all trusts on this subject on Monday 15 January. [149278]

Mr. Denham

The joint Health Service/Local Authority Circular "Winter 2000–01: Capacity Planning for Health and Social Care" (HSC 2000/016: LAC 2000–14) issued on 23 May 2000 statedNHS organisations should work with local councils to ensure that all services involved in the disposal of bodies: medical certification, registration, coroners, funeral directors and burial or cremation services are in place and that adequate out-of-hours services are available. NHS trusts should ensure that mortuary capacity is adequate to meet peaks in winter deaths and take steps to provide additional facilities where this is likely to be required. Temporary mortuary facilities must meet minimum standards to respect patients' dignity. Refrigerated vehicles and trailers must not be used.

Copies of HSC 2000/016: LAC 2000–14 are available in the Library.

The letter written by the National Health Service chief executive to all trusts on this subject on Monday 15 January has been placed in the Library.