What happens when someone passes away
When a loved one passes away we understand it is an extremely upsetting and stressful time, we are here to help and guide you. It is OK to take some time for yourself, before proceeding to inform people, you could ask a family member or close friend to help you, please call us if you require help or have any questions.
Firstly call your doctors surgery, during surgery hours, a GP will attend your home to certify that your loved one has passed away, they will then complete a Cause of Death Certificate
If the family are not present, the nursing staff will contact you. They will arrange for a doctor to issue the certificate of death and a release form, which needs to be signed by the next of kin, allowing us to bring your loved one into our care.
If the funeral is to be a cremation, please inform the hospital staff. Once all necessary paperwork has been completed by the hospital, the funeral director will attend the hospital to collect your loved one.
In a Nursing Home
If a death occurs in a nursing home, the nursing staff will contact you and they will make the arrangements for a doctor to attend. They will then contact the funeral director on your behalf to arrange for your loved one to be taken into their care.
Sadly some deaths are unexpected, it is normal for the coroner to be informed of sudden and unexplained deaths. The coroner will investigate the circumstances and may carry out a medical examination to establish the cause of death. Once this has been concluded they will supply your funeral director with the necessary paperwork to allow your loved one to be taken in to care.
Away from home or out of the Country
If a loved one passes away while on holiday in the UK, all the required paperwork will be completed by a doctor or the hospital in the area, your funeral director will guide you through registration of the death and will make all the necessary arrangement to bring your loved one in to care.
If your loved one passes away abroad, contact your funeral director, who will liaise with all parties involved to bring your loved one home.
How to register a death
The medical certificate or the cause of death certificate must have been issued by the doctor or hospital to the Register Office in advance of the appointment to register the death over the telephone.
If the death has been referred to the coroner, they will inform you when you are able to make an appointment to register the death over the telephone.
The cause of death certificate it will be sent directly to the register by the doctor or hospital.
To give the doctor time to electronically send the medical certificate of cause of death to the register office, we recommend that you select an appointment for the next working day.
Your funeral director cannot register the death.
Who can register a death?
In most situations the next of kin or a relative will register the death of a loved one. However there are others who could register the death for you
- Someone who was present at the time of death
- An occupant of the house where the death occurred
- An official from the hospital where the death occurred
- The person making the funeral arrangements
What information will need to supply when registering
During the telephone appointment, the Registrar will ask you to provide the following information:
- Date of Death
- Place of Death
- Name and surname of the deceased
- Sex: Male or Female
- Maiden surname of woman who has been married or civil partnership
- This is the surname in which a woman contracted her (first) marriage or Civil Partnership.
- Date of Birth: Please provide approximate dates if exact date not known.
- Place of Birth
- Marital Status
- Spouse/Civil Partners Name and Surname
- Spouse/Civil Partners Occupation
- Usual Address
It would be helpful if you are able to locate the deceased's NHS number, which can be found on their NHS card or prescription (however this is not essential)
Once registration is completed you will be issued with a death certificate. The registrar will also issue a green certificate for burial or cremation, which your funeral director will require for the arrangements
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Most people expect to be very upset or distressed when someone close to them has died. What takes many people by surprise is how strong the emotions can be, how they can change very quickly, and how long they last. People around you may seem to think you should be ‘back to normal’ after a few weeks or months. You might appear to be your usual self to other people, but you know that on the inside, you’re not even sure what normal is anymore.
Everyone grieves in a way that is unique to them and their relationship with the person who has died. Well-intentioned people may say to you, ‘Time is a great healer.’ Sometimes, however, it can seem that life is more difficult as the weeks and months go by.
We know that no-one can understand exactly what your loss feels like to you. But we do understand that it’s sometimes easier to talk to someone outside of your friends and family about grief and the impact of bereavement of your life and this is why we offer the GriefChat service.
GriefChat was created by bereavement experts and by clicking on the GriefChat box below, you can chat directly to a specially trained bereavement counsellor. GriefChat counsellors are experienced in supporting bereaved people and will listen to your story, explore how your grief is affecting you and help you to find any additional support you might need. GriefChat is a completely free service and is available Monday-Friday, 9am-9pm (except Bank Holidays).
GriefChat provides emotional support for bereaved people, access to trained bereavement counsellors and referral into other specialist bereavement services.