What to do next

At this difficult time, there is much to do and many decisions that have to be made in a short space of time. It can all seem quite overwhelming but we are here to help, support, and advise you 24 hours a day. Please refer to our guide below for more details on what to do when your loved one has passed away.

If the death has occurred at home (and is expected)

Contact the deceased’s GP’s surgery and a GP will come and verify the death. A community nurse may also be able to verify the death. You may then contact us to take the deceased into care. If there is no coroner involvement – please see below – the GP will issue a medical certificate of cause of death, which you can collect from the surgery and will need to take with you when you go to register the death.

If the death has occurred at home (and is unexpected)

Dial 999 for an ambulance, and they will guide you through the next steps. As death was unexpected, the police will be called, and they must report the death to the coroner. Once death has been verified, the coroner will call his chosen funeral directors who will take the deceased to the hospital mortuary. We must then await further instructions from the coroner.

If the death has occurred at a hospice or nursing home

If there is no coroner involvement – please see below – a GP or a qualified member of staff will verify the death. They will then contact us to take the deceased into our care. The medical certificate of cause of death will be issued by the GP and the staff at the hospice/nursing home can tell you when it is completed and where to collect it from.

If the death has occurred in hospital 

If there isn’t any coroner involvement, the bereavement office will be able to tell you how the medical certificate of cause of death will be issued. When the certificate is ready, they will make an appointment with you, so you can go along and collect it. Each hospital requires certain paperwork to be completed before we are permitted to bring the deceased into our care. We will always advise you accordingly.

If the death has occurred elsewhere

If the death occurred in an area away from home, the local GP/hospital/coroner will attend to the required paperwork. The registering of the death must be carried out in the district where the death occurred. If the deceased is to be returned home for the funeral to take place, we will organise transportation and all necessary arrangements. This also applies to if the death occurred abroad.

If the death occurred abroad

In certain circumstances, the medical certificate of cause of death cannot be issued by the hospital or GP and the death must be reported to the coroner, usually by the GP or the police.