Knowing what to do when someone dies can help you prepare and avoid further stress when the death occurs. When someone dies, there are several steps that need to be completed within a certain time frame. These include informing the right people and obtaining a medical certificate. Our useful guide will explain some of the most important arrangements that need to be made.
Obtaining a medical certificate can differ depending on the circumstances. However, there is no need to worry as we are here to make this process easier. The following options will explain what to do in these different circumstances.
If a person dies in hospital, the body will be taken to the hospital mortuary. A doctor will then issue the medical certificate, provided that the death was not subject to unusual circumstances.
When a death occurs at home or in a nursing home, you should inform a doctor as soon as possible. They will visit and issue a medical certificate, provided there are no unusual circumstances.
If the death was unexpected or happened under unusual circumstances, you must contact the emergency services as a matter of urgency. If the circumstances surrounding the death mean a doctor cannot issue the certificate, HM Coroner may need to get involved. The body will be transported to the hospital mortuary and often a post-mortem will be requested at this stage. The certificate cannot be issued until the cause of death is identified by the Coroner.
A death needs to be registered with the local authority where the death occurred. The registration must take place within 5 days in England and Wales or 8 days in Scotland. When HM Coroner becomes involved, you will need to inform the local authority as soon as possible as it may not be possible to register the death in this timescale.
Once the death is registered and we have received the certificate for burial or cremation, the funeral planning can begin.
Opening Hours: Tuesday and Friday: 9:30 am to 2:30 pm.
Address: The Old Court House, Jaycroft Road, Burnham-on-Sea, TA8 1LE.
Phone: 01823 282251
Address: Southmead Hospital, Brunel Building, Bristol, BS10 5NB. The office is on level 1 at gate 12.
The death must be registered within the district that the person has died, for example if they have passed away at Weston General Hospital, then you will need to register in the North Somerset offices.