Expected or not, nothing prepares you for the death of a loved one. We are here to help you every step of the way.

It is very normal to not know what to do when someone dies. The following information explains what happens when someone dies in a hospital, a care home, a hospice, at home or in a public place.

For further information you can also see Registering a death, The Coroner and Who to inform

When someone dies at home:

Whether a death has been expected or not, contact the GP or surgery to attend and confirm the death.

Once a doctor has certified the death you can ask us to move the body of the deceased. Some families ask us to take the deceased to our Chapel of Rest as soon as possible and some prefer to stay with their loved one for a short period. We always respect your wishes and take care and carry out the removal whenever it is preferred.
Once the Certificate Of Death has been issued you need to collect it, usually from the doctor’s surgery. You will need this certificate to register the death.

If someone dies in a hospital, care home or hospice:

A member of the nursing staff will contact a doctor to attend and certify death to enable a Certificate Of Death to be issued. Once the doctor has attended we can then move the deceased to our Chapel of Rest. The nursing or care staff will inform the family when and where the Certificate Of Death may be collected.

If someone dies in a public place

A public place refers to anywhere that is not a care facility or someone’s home. This might be a shop, theatre, hotel, school, sports club or a street. Usually the emergency services, i.e. the police and an ambulance, are called because the death is unexpected.
If the death appears to have been natural but the ambulance service feels that further resuscitation and transfer to hospital is not required, the police will usually arrange for the funeral director working for the coroner to remove the body to the nearest public mortuary (this may be located at a hospital). The ambulance service may do this if the deceased person is located in a very public place, such as a shop.
As most deaths in public places are unexpected, they are reported by the police to the Coroner who will usually order a post mortem examination unless a doctor has been treating the person for a condition which might have caused a sudden collapse.
If the death was unnatural, the police will be in charge of the area and will arrange for a funeral director working for the coroner to remove the deceased to the nearest public mortuary. This may be at a hospital.

More information about the Coroner and the procedures involved are available on the Coroner’s Page

If Someone Dies Overseas

If someone dies overseas the procedure varies from country to country. Contact us straight away and we will advise you.

Certificate Of Death

In both of the above instances the doctor attends to certify death and issues a Certificate Of Death to allow the death to be registered. There are, however, some instances where the doctor is not allowed to issue the certificate and is legally bound to refer the death to the Coroner. Some of the reasons for not issuing a certificate are:

  • The death is sudden and unexplained.
  • The death is the result of an accident.
  • The cause of death is unknown.
  • The medical certificate suggests that the death is due to an industrial disease or industrial poisoning.
  • The death occurred while in custody or otherwise in state detention.
  • The death was as a result of a medical mishap.
  • The death was violent or unnatural.
  • The person who died was not visited by a medical practitioner during their final illness.
  • The person who died wasn’t seen by the doctor who signed the medical certificate within 14 days before death or after they died.

More information about the Coroner and the procedures involved are available on the Coroner’s Page