WHAT TO DO WHEN SOMEONE DIES
The person making the arrangements must be able to give instructions and make decisions regarding the funeral details. We are happy to visit you in your home or you may visit our offices to make the funeral arrangements; whichever is more convenient.
When someone dies at home
First contact the deceased’s Doctor so that a Doctor may call and issue a medical certificate of death. It may be an on call Doctor who calls; they will then inform the deceased’s own Doctor on the next working day. You may be required to go to the surgery to collect the medical certificate of death.
If for any reason the Doctor does not feel able to issue a medical certificate of death, he will contact the Coroner (see information under “when someone dies unexpectedly”).
Once the Doctor has attended, you may call us so that we can remove the deceased to our Chapels of Rest. We will need the name of the deceased and the address from where they should be collected. We will also require your name and a contact telephone number. It is also helpful if you can tell us whether you are planning a burial or cremation, if this is already known.
When someone dies in a nursing or residential home
Usually a member of staff will call the Doctor, who will then call at the home to confirm the death. The home will contact the next of kin or executor to let them know the death has occurred. You will need to tell the home that you wish us to handle the funeral so that we can remove the deceased back to our Chapels of Rest.
The home will be able to advise you when the medical certificate of death will be available and where you should collect this from.
Further contact should be made with the home to arrange collection of the deceased’s personal effects. You should also check whether jewellery worn by the deceased has been removed by the home.
If someone dies in hospital
The hospital will advise the next of kin or executor that the death has occurred. They will advise you to contact the Bereavement Office to ascertain when the medical certificate of death will be available for collection. It may be possible to collect the deceased’s personal effects at the same time.
After the death the hospital staff will take the deceased to the mortuary. It may be possible to see the deceased in the hospital Chapel of Rest but it may be less distressing if you wait until the deceased is taken to our Chapels of Rest before you pay your last respects.
If the hospital doctor is not sure that he can issue a medial certificate of death then he will contact the coroner.
When someone dies unexpectedly
It is usual for the Doctor to involve the coroner and/or the police. There are many reasons why this may happen and they will almost always be involved if the death is sudden or unexpected, especially if the deceased was not under a Doctor’s care on a regular basis; death occurred due to an accident or suspicious circumstances; death occurred during an operation; death was caused by an industrial disease. If an elderly person dies as the result of a fall in the last two months, this may also be investigated by a coroner
When the coroner has looked at all the appropriate evidence and satisfies himself that the death is from natural causes the necessary paperwork will be issued to allow registration to take place. If the post mortem results are inconclusive, if the death was due to an accident, or violence or was caused by an industrial disease then an inquest may be required.
The coroners will keep in touch with the next of kin.
If the death occurs out of normal office hours you may still call us. You do not have to wait until you have a death certificate before starting to make funeral arrangements so please call us as soon as you feel able to and we will be happy to advise you further. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day