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Doctor in cremation probe suspended
3:44pm Tuesday 27th March 2007 in News
A Hampshire doctor who claimed he authorised dozens of cremations without the proper paperwork because bodies mortuary was filling up with bodies was suspended for just three months today.
Dr Stuart Edwards, from Locks Heath, pocketed thousands of pounds by signing off cremation certificates without making the correct checks at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.
He ignored guidelines brought in following Dr Harold Shipman's mass murder of hundreds of patients and tried to cover up what he had done.
The General Medical Council found Edwards' actions were dishonest, misleading and unprofessional in relation to all 14 cases they considered.
But he was suspended for just three months after the panel ruled the dishonest practice was 'pre existing and widespread' in the hospital trust.
Chairman Dr Surendra Kumar said: "The panel accepts that the practice of making false declarations on cremation forms was pre-existing and widespread throughout the Portsmouth Hospitals Trust.
"It was not a practice initiated by you.
"However, the panel is concerned that you adopted this practice and followed it as a matter of course."