Click the letter and you’ll make it bigger and readable.
It’s from Angie Gunn, Mortuary Services Admin Co-ordinator at Stockport NHS Trust. It’s been sent to all local undertakers.
“From 1 Oct, once all paperwork regarding the release of a body has been received, you will be contacted by a member of the Mortuary staff to inform you that everything is ready and that you may collect. You will be required to collect by 1630 hours the next working day … Any delay in collection will now incur a charge of £25 per day … no exceptions … should this date be a Friday and you do not collect by 16.30 hours … you will be charged for Saturday and Sunday … Families who wish to view their loved one following receipt of all relevant release paperwork will be informed that they can no longer come to the mortuary and that they must contact their funeral director to facilitate this.”
So: there you have it. You pay through the nose to use the car park and now they want money for the cadaver park too.
We can wonder why a NHS hospital might feel provoked into sending such a letter — and why this letter may prove to be typical of letters to come from elsewhere. It could have something to do with the recent cost-cutting consolidation of coroners’ mortuary services in fewer hospitals, leading to overload. It may be because a cut-price undertaker without refrigeration is taking the mortuary for a ride. It may just be a nice little earner.
Whatever the reason, the letter misses the mark. The lawful possessor of a dead person is their personal representative, not an undertaker, who is simply the agent of the personal representative.
If you really feel you have to charge, Ms Gunn, here’s where to send this letter and your invoice: your families.