When a Death Occurs

When a death occurs many people are unsure who to contact and when.

Most deaths take place in one of three places, either at home, in hospital or a nursing home.

The procedures involved differ slightly and will now be explained.

At Home

When someone dies at home, the first contact should be the family doctor who will normally call at the house and, if satisfied as to the cause of death, will issue the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. In some cases you may be asked to call at the surgery to collect the certificate. You will need this certificate to register the death.

In many instances the religion of the deceased will require that immediate contact is made with their minister.

After the doctor has attended, you should contact us at any time of day or night.

Prior to attending at the house we will request the following information:

  • Your name, address and telephone number and your relationship to the person who has died
  • The name and religion of the deceased and the address where death has occurred
  • The name of the family doctor and has he/she been notified
  • Is it your desire for the deceased to stay at home or be removed to our chapel of rest?
  • Have you decided on burial or cremation?

If you wish for the deceased to be removed into our care, we will then arrange a suitable time to call at your home.

In Hospital or a Nursing Home

When a person dies in a hospital or nursing home, you will normally be dealing with the sister, staff nurse in charge, or care home manager. They will have made the necessary arrangements for the doctor to issue the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death and will advise you from where, and when, it will be available.

If you have decided that the funeral is to be a cremation, you should make the hospital or nursing home aware of this. Additional papers have to be prepared by the doctors and advising them at this stage will save possible delays later.

You should then contact us. We will ask you for information regarding yourself, the deceased and the place of death. We will bring the deceased into our care as soon as it is possible to do so.

At this stage we can also arrange a suitable time for you to call at one of our offices or arrange for someone to visit you at home to make all the arrangements.

Death referred to HM Coroner

Please refer to HM Coroner for more details about a Death referred to HM Coroner.