We are responsible for appointing medical referees, the medical practitioner who gives final authority for the cremation to proceed. We can also provide guidance on the cremation acts and regulations.
On 14 February 2006, the Cremation (Amendment) Regulations 2006 come into force. If a UK citizen dies abroad of natural causes and there is no medical certificate which complies with UK regulations, then local coroners are responsible for issuing certificates to allow the person to be cremated in the UK. The local coroner will issue a certificate, form E. Before the 14 February 2006, we were responsible for issuing these certificates. The Cremation (Amendment) Regulations 2006 also regularise the incineration of body parts.
The new regulations are available to download on the Office of public sector information website.
Cremation is governed by the Cremation Acts of 1902 and 1952, and the Cremation Regulations 1930 (as amended). If you would like guidance on the Cremation Acts and Regulations, please contact Brian Patterson by email or phone 020 7210 0031.
There is guidance available on how to complete the medical certificates needed for a cremation in England and Wales. It has been prepared to complement advice issued to crematoria medical referees so that you can be aware of the information they need. We hope that this will avoid delay to the authorisation of cremation. The Department of Health recommends that you use this guidance.