A doctor asked a grieving family if they could confirm the death via a video link amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Gillian Orman, from Southampton, called the NHS after the death of her mother, Kathleen Brecknell, 86.
A doctor said everyone in the household – including her deceased mother – should wear a mask during a personal visit to confirm the death.
The doctor originally asked her if she could confirm the death via the video link, but Ms. Orman said she declined the “dishonorable” offer.
“The receptionist said a doctor would go out to confirm my mother’s death,” said Ms. Orman.
Gillian Orman, from Southampton, called the NHS after her mother, Kathleen Brecknell (pictured), 86, passed away.
He called the doctor and said she wanted to confirm her death via the video link. I couldn’t believe it – what she was suggesting was very offensive.
I refused and said I wanted the doctor to go home. She said it would only come if everyone on the property wore face masks, including my late mother.
I know we are in the middle of a covid epidemic but you expect support when something like this happens.
Her mother had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a lung complaint characterized by long-standing breathing problems, and her death came three months after Orman’s daughter Catherine, 34.
Dr Dan Baylis, chief medical officer at the Solent NHS Trust, said: “ During the current pandemic, GP surgeries across the country are being asked to consider providing remote consultations to patients and families, including verifying someone’s death. This is to protect both staff and patients.
We understand that many families prefer to be seen face to face and we will always accommodate that. Our Family Liaison Officer will contact the family to discuss their concerns so they can get the appropriate support.
“We will use their feedback so that we can effectively improve our services and the level of care we provide to all patients and their families.”
“We expect the NHS to implement delicate processes such as personally certifying death, in a way that respects the dignity of the person who has died,” said Rachel Bauer, chief executive of the Patients Association.
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