What to do..

when a death occurs.

The following is a guide of what to do in certain circumstances after a death.

A Death at home

If a family member or friend passes away at home, you will need to contact their Doctor (or the Doctor on call) who will come to certify the death. If the passing was expected , a Doctor may give the Nurse authority to confirm the death. Once the Death has been certified, you can telephone us so we can convey your loved one into our care. A medical certificate will then be issued, usually from the surgery, on the next working day ready for your collection. Once you have the medical certificate, you need to book an appointment at the Registrar’s Office where the Registrar will require the medical certificate.

If the death was unexpected, or the Doctor has not seen the deceased recently, the death may be referred to the Coroner.

Call Their Doctor

Then call us on 01302 560641

Get a medical certifcate for the cause of death (MCCD)

Book a appointment with the registrar's office

Give us the green form the registrar with gives you

We will bring your loved one into our care..

If someone dies at home unexpectedly at home

Call 111 immediately and ask for advice. An unexpected death may need to be reported to a coroner. A coroner is a doctor or lawyer responsible for investigating unexpected deaths. They may call for a post-mortem or inquest to find out the cause of death. This may take some time, so the funeral may need to be delayed.

A Passing away from home

Nursing or Residential  Care Home 

Some homes may have asked you which funeral director you want to use in advance so they know who to call when the time comes. When a death occurs in a nursing or care home, the deceased’s usual doctor, or an on call doctor, will be called to confirm death. Only after the doctor has attended can the family or home staff call the us to take the deceased into our care. The deceased’s normal doctor will issue the Medical Cause of Death Certificate and this is normally collected from the surgery or emailed to us in order to register the death. 

The home will call the doctor.

Once the doctor has been they or you will call us

Get a medical certifcate for the cause of death (MCCD)

Book a appointment with the registrar's office

Give us the green form the registrar with gives you

We will bring your loved one into our care..

If the death was unexpected

the death may be reported to the Coroner in which case the police will attend on the Coroner’s behalf to remove the deceased to hospital to await further investigations.

In Hospital 

When a death occurs in hospital or hospice, The doctor’s treating the patient will normally 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 can be collected by arrangement with them. You can then register the death and we can bring them into our care from the hospital.

The hospital staff will arrange for the doctor.

Hospital Bereavement office will issue MCCD

Book a appointment with the registrar's office

Give us the green form the registrar with gives you

We will bring your loved one into our care..

If the doctor feels that a coroner should be informed

They will refer the case to the Coroner who will decide whether a certificate can be issued or whether further investigation is necessary.

H.M. Coroner

 Coroner is automatically involved when someone dies in certain circumstances. These include:

No Doctor attended the deceased during his or her last illness

Cause of death appears to be unknown

The death was sudden or unexpected

Suspected violence or neglect

Other Suspicious circumstances

The Coroner Examination

The Coroner needs to establish through his/her investigations who the deceased person was, when they died, where they died and how they died. Most cases are a formality and an examination is all thats needed.

Will the funeral and probate have to be delayed?

If a coroner decides an inquest is necessary it does not mean that all the practical issues have to be delayed until the inquest is complete. The investigations for inquests can sometimes take weeks or even months depending on the complexity of the case.

They may issue permission for the funeral to go ahead, the coroner can issue a Certificate of the Fact of Death (often referred to as an interim certificate)

Will I be able to register the death?

It may be possible to make an appointment with the Registrar of Births & Deaths once you have the interim certificate.  However, you will not receive the death certificates until after the inquest.

Inquest even when the death is from natural causes

There are certain cases where a coroner is obliged to hold an inquest even when the death is from natural causes, such as when someone has been in state detention e.g under arrest or in prison, at the time of death.

In circumstances where the Coroner feels the death is not due to natural causes

A formal inquest will be held to determine what the cause of death was.

Burial if a coroner is required

If there is no inquest, the death must be registered and the green certificate handed to us after registration.

If there was need for an Coroner’s Inquest

The Coroner provides us with the necessary form for the funeral to take place. you do not need to register the death, this is done automatically through the Coroner. The Coroner will send interim death certificates direct to you. There will be no paperwork for you to give to us.

How will I know what is happening?

A coroner’s officer should contact you at least once every 3 months while you are waiting for the inquest to update you on the progress of the investigation.