Bristol undertaker Thomas Davis has been branded a “‘Burke and Hare’ operation” by MP Caroline Noakes after her constituent Peter Williams accused the undertakers of taking his mother-in-law’s body from Bristol Royal Infirmary and keeping it for ten days without asking.
She said: “Thomas Davis acted unlawfully, because all that had been requested by the Williams family was for them to provide a quote for their services and make provisional inquiries with a local crematorium. There was no contract, no formal quote and at no time were the family informed the body had been collected. Furthermore, at no time was any of the paperwork, required under Department of Health or hospital guidelines for the release of Mrs Pugh’s body, handed over by the family.”
A spokesperson for Thomas Davis claimed that the family had instructed the firm to carry out the funeral, and that the mortuary had released the body owing to “high standing and well-respected reputation” of the undertaker.
The NAFD sided with the undertaker: “The board believe that Thomas Davis acted in good faith, on the understanding that they had been given instructions from Mrs Williams to proceed with the funeral arrangements and have therefore agreed not to take the matter further.”
The hospital apologised to the family and blamed a member of the mortuary staff. (When big things happen, it’s the little guys who get it in the neck.)
Full story in the Bristol Post here.