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What to do when someone dies

For immediate help or advice please call 01908 367777. Remember, when calling this number, you will speak directly to a member of our family who will help you through every stage of the process and answer any questions you may have.

In Hospital or Hospice

When a death occurs in hospital or hospice it is usually expected by the doctors treating the patient. This means that the doctor will be able to issue a Cause of Death Certificate which in turn is used to register the death.

The medical cause of death certificate is usually issued via the bereavement officer at the hospital, and will be sent directly to the Register Office with the next of kin's details for registration.

If for any reason the doctor feels they are not in a position to issue the cause of death certificate, they will refer the case to the Coroner who will decide whether a certificate can be issued, or whether further investigation is necessary. If further investigation is required, a Post Mortem Examination may be ordered, usually to determine the exact cause of death. In most cases, this will not necessarily cause any delay in making funeral arrangements. After the Coroner has carried out their investigations they will release the body to the funeral director and supply the Register Office with the appropriate paperwork for the family to attend and register the death.

You are welcome to contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for any advice or to start making provisional arrangements or for any advice you made need.

In a Nursing or Care Home, or Hospice

When a death occurs in a nursing home the usual doctor who tended to the deceased, or an on call doctor, will be called to confirm death. Only after the doctor has attended can the family or care home staff call the funeral director to take the deceased into their care. The regular GP of the deceased will be made aware of the death and issue the Cause of Death Certificate, which will be sent to the Register Office with the next of kin's details for registration. The same process occurs if this happens out of normal working hours, the GP will be made aware and will have to produce the cause of death certificate. 

You are welcome to contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for any advice, to take your loved one into our care or to start making provisional funeral arrangements.

If the death is unexpected, the death may be reported to the Coroner, who will decide whether a post mortem examination will need to occur, which if decided at the point of death, the *Coroner’s nominated funeral director will be called to convey the deceased to hospital to await further investigation. After the Coroner has carried out their investigations, they will release the body to your funeral director of choice and supply the Register Office with the appropriate paperwork for the family to attend and register the death.

*Please note- You are under no obligation to use the Coroner’s funeral director for funeral arrangements. They are only contracted to convey the deceased to hospital, or store the body until it can be taken there if out of normal working hours.

You are welcome to contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for any advice or to start making provisional arrangements.

At Home

When death occurs at a private house the first call is to the usual GP of the deceased or duty on call doctor. Only after the doctor has confirmed the death can the funeral director take the deceased into their care. The usual GP of the deceased will issue the Cause of Death Certificate to the register office with the next of kin's details to arrange an appointment to register the death. You can begin the arrangements for the funeral during this time if you wish.

If the death is unexpected, the death may be reported to the Coroner who may decide a post mortem examination needs to occur to establish a cause of death. If this is decided at the time of death, the *Coroner’s nominated funeral director will be called to convey the deceased to hospital to await further investigation. After the Coroner has carried out their investigations, they will release the body to the funeral director of your choice, and supply the Register Office with the appropriate paperwork for the family to attend and register the death.

*Please note- You are under no obligation to use the Coroner’s funeral director for funeral arrangements. They are only contracted to convey the deceased to hospital, or store the body until it can be taken there if out of normal working hours.

You are welcome to contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for any advice or to start making provisional arrangements

Please call 01908 367777 for immediate attention

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