What to do when someone dies.
With many years experience, we are able to act with efficiency and discretion, offering you and your family the highest standard of care. Our emergency service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, where you will speak to one of our team personally (not a call centre).
All non emergency matters can be dealt with Monday to Friday 9.00 - 5.00 at our office or if you prefer at your home, by appointment.
The information below will help you understand the first steps that need to be taken when somebody dies. If you would like to contact us for more advice then one of our experienced members of staff will be happy to help you.
When somebody dies at home:
When somebody dies at home, their doctor should be the first person you contact. The doctor will confirm that death has taken place and then advise you to call the funeral director who will arrange to move your loved one to the Chapel of Rest at a time which is convenient to you and your family. The doctor will issue the Medical Certificate of Death if satisfied with the cause of death. You may be asked to collect the certificate from the surgery. Out of normal surgery hours the attending Doctor may not be your GP. When you are ready, contact us about making funeral arrangements and we will advice and guide you through this process.
When somebody dies in a nursing home:
When somebody dies in a nursing home, the nursing home staff should liaise with the doctor and us on your behalf. Again we will arrange to move your loved one to our Chapel of Rest at a time which is convenient with the nursing home.
When somebody dies in hospital:
When somebody dies in hospital, the staff will arrange for a doctor to issue the Medical Certificate of Death, which you will need to collect along with any belongings. We will liaise on your behalf with the hospital to bring the person that has died into our care once the hospital gives us permission to attend.
When somebody dies suddenly:
When somebody dies suddenly, it is normal for the Coroner to be involved. The Coroner is automatically involved in most sudden or unexpected deaths, especially if the person that has died has not been under a doctor's care on a regular basis.
If the doctor is unable to sign a medical cause of death he will refer the case to the Coroner. He speaks to the Coroner's Officer and the Coroner's Officer will then instruct the funeral director to remove the deceased from the place of death to the local public mortuary where a post-mortem examination will take place.
YOU DO NOT PAY FOR THIS REMOVAL.
The undertaker used for the Coroner's removal does not have to be the same funeral director you wish to carry out the funeral.
It is often the case that a police officer will visit the place of death to gather details and make notes. Do not be alarmed by this, it is normal procedure.
Who are the Coroner's?
Coroners are independent judicial officers in England and Wales who must follow laws which apply to Coroners and Inquests. Coroners are usually lawyers but may be doctors.
What do Coroners do?
Coroners inquire into deaths reported to them which appear to be violent, unnatural or of sudden and unknown cause. The Coroner will seek to establish the medical cause of death; if the cause remains in doubt after post mortem, an inquest will be held.
Taking the body abroad or bringing it back to this country.
What is the role of the Coroner's Officer?
Coroner's Officers, who may be police officers, work under the direction of the Coroners and liase with families, police, doctors and funeral directors.
Are all deaths reported to the Coroner?
No. In most cases, a GP or hospital doctor can certify medical cause of death.
Contact us as soon as possible and we will be able to advise you on the procedures involved and liaise with the Coroner's office.