The first thing to do when someone dies is to let their doctor know. If the person is in a care home or hospital the staff there will assist you.
If a person dies at home
You should immediately contact the person’s doctor.
If you know who their doctor is: Call their doctor. Once the doctor attends, they will issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (commonly called a death certificate) or call the coroner. You can then contact your chosen funeral director who will arrange transportation of your loved one to their premises. If the coroner is involved, the death certificate will be issued after the coroner’s inquest.
If you don’t know who their doctor is: In this instance, call the police. When they attend, they will contact the doctor who will issue a death certificate or refer the death to a coroner. If this happens, ask the police to contact your chosen funeral director. They will arrange transportation of your loved one to the local hospital mortuary. The death certificate will be issued after the coroner’s inquest.
If a person dies in hospital
Once the hospital doctor has certified death and issued a certificate, you are free to register the death with the Register Office and contact your chosen funeral director to make arrangements. If the coroner is involved, the hospital should keep you informed of the next steps.
If a person dies in a care home
The staff in the home will help you. The procedure is similar to if a person dies at home.
If a person dies abroad
Different countries have different procedures regarding what documentation is needed and transportation of the deceased. Please contact your chosen funeral director as soon as possible, they can advise you and liaise with the consulate and the coroner’s office to arrange to bring your loved one home. For more information, visit the Death abroad section of our website.