What To Do When A Death Occurs

Losing someone close to you can be a very difficult time in your life, this page has been designed to guide you through the next steps following a bereavement. Our experienced team of arrangers are here to advise and support you through the process of making the funeral arrangements.

When a death occurs at home it is necessary to contact the Doctor of the deceased or the out of hours service, so that the doctor can attend and confirm the death. If the person passes away in a nursing home or a hospice the staff at the home will contact the on call doctor to certify the death on your behalf.

Once the Doctor has confirmed the death a ‘Confirmatory Medical Certificate’ will be issued. If the person passes away out of normal surgery hours, it is possible that an on call doctor will attend. If this is the case a letter will be given to the next of kin, attesting that the death has been confirmed. The ‘Confirmatory Medical Certificate’ will then need to be collected from the Doctor’s surgery when it is ready.

Once the Doctor has attended the funeral director can then bring the deceased back into their care.

When a death is unexpected and the cause of death is uncertain, the attending Doctor must contact the office of the local Coroner, this is a formality, the Coroner will then investigate the cause of death further. Once the Coroner has been informed they will organise for the deceased to be taken to a local hospital, this may sometimes result in an examination to determine the exact cause of death.

If the Coroner is involved the funeral may be delayed until they have finished their investigations, the Coroners officer will liaise directly with the next of kin and will be informed of the necessary procedures.

When a death occurs in a hospital, you may have to wait for the administrative staff to advise you when the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death is ready to be collected.

If you require any further information please contact one of our members of staff.