A HAMPTON-in-Arden consultant has admitted falsely signing death certificates in the first case of its kind.
Dr Martin Sandler, 49, of The Crescent, was fined £1,500 when he appeared at Solihull Magistrates Court this month. It’s understood that Sandler is the first doctor in Britain to be prosecuted under the Cremation Act 1902.
On August 6, he pleaded guilty to six charges, dating back to 2008 - meaning that patients were cremated without confirming the cause of death.
The forms were signed while Sandler - a doctor for over 25-years - was working at Solihull Hospital.
This week, health bosses confirmed that he was continuing to work as a general medical consultant following a probe.
District Judge Kevin Grego said that the case would shake public confidence and have an impact on the families concerned.
He said that the offences were because of a “sloppy” approach and there was no evidence that the certificates were signed for profit.
In the wake of the Harold Shipman murders, the NHS requires that a death certificate is signed by the patient’s doctor and then countersigned by a colleague.
Sandler put his name to the documents having not completed the full procedures.
James Leonard, defending, had said that Sandler’s actions had been reckless rather than deliberate.
The consultant was also ordered to pay costs of £150 and a £15 victim surcharge.
Heart of England NHS Trust said that a disciplinary hearing had taken place in December 2008, following an internal investigation.
A spokesman said: “Dr Sandler has already been disciplined by the trust for this administrative breach and is unable to carry out this specific administration task in future.
“There has never been any question relating to Dr Sandler’s medical practice or capability.”