Monday, 18 January 2010

Paying When your Dead

A post on the Bracknell Liberal Democrat website by Ray Earwicker, PPC for Bracknell has raised a very interesting issue, see here.

In this post Ray talks about 'ash payments' which are made by grieving relatives to doctors. the charge is £73.50 for each cremation form they sign.

It states that 'Figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats show that almost £15million was earned nationally in 2009 by doctors signing a form to release a body for cremation'. Our local hospitals have charged a total of £39,973 for Heatherwood and Wexham Park and £62,338 for Frimley Park.

Now just think about this for a moment, this means that if someone dies the doctors get paid and that grieving families have to pay it. I really think this is wrong on principal, A charge for a death? doctors always do whatever they can to save a life and im sure don't take this fee into account, I just think this charge is unnecessary. I agree with Ray that "the government must take action". I think there is no need for these charges.


  1. 'Ash-can money' is a perfectly sensible idea. Someone needs to pay for the doctors who sign Form 5, and there seems to be little reason why the next of kin shouldn't pay it - it is, after all, part of the costs of cremation and burial. If you want to be cremated, there are complications, and you should be willing to pay for the cost of these.

  2. Im not writing about the cost of cremation but this

    and I quote from this article "Ash cash" payments, as they are known by medical staff, are considered one of the perks of the job. Tales of junior doctors vying with each other to fill in the forms, for which they receive £73.50 a time, are legion. A junior doctor who blogs under the name "The Daily Rhino" has described ash cash "as the house officer's privilege, it is the fund for Thursday night drinks all over the country".

    The unnamed doctor declares: "A colleague working on care of the elderly has effectively gone up a banding due to the vast amounts of ash cash he rakes in."