Getting a Medical Certificate

There are two steps to take immediately after someone dies.

  • A doctor must issue a certificate stating the cause of death.
  • The death must be registered with your local registrar who will issue a death certificate.

Getting a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death

When someone dies at home

The first step is to contact the GP of the deceased. They can visit and confirm the patient has passed away and issue the medical Certificate of Cause of Death. You can then contact us to make arrangements for taking the deceased to the Chapel of Rest.

When someone dies in a  care home

In a care home, the staff will arrange a doctor to visit to confirm that death. Once this is confirmed, the matron or duty nurse will usually contact your funeral directors directly to arrange transport to the Chapel of Rest.

When someone dies at hospital

Usually at hospital, the Doctor attending the deceased will issue the Medical Certificate of Death and the hospital will let you know where and when you can collect it from. The Patient Affairs Office will issue various documents so you can proceed with the funeral.

When is a death reported to the coroner?

A death will involve a coroner if:

  • There is no doctor who can issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death
  • The deceased was not seen by the doctor issuing the medical certificate after death nor within 14 days before death
  • The cause of death is unknown or is thought to be unnatural or suspicious.
  • Death occurred during an operation or before recovery from an anaesthetic
  • Death is due to industrial disease or industrial poisoning.

Once a death has been reported to the coroner, the registrar cant register the death until the coroner has decided whether any further investigation is necessary.

What does the Coroner Do?

The coroner can take one of three actions:

  1. No further action – the doctor will then issue the Medical Cause of Death Certificate and issue a form (Part A) direct to the register office.
  2. Conduct a post mortem to establish the cause of death – once this is completed you can register the death with a form (Part B) sent direct to the register office.
  3. Hold an inquest – on completion of the inquest the coroner will register the death and pass all necessary paperwork directly to the funeral director. The death certificate issued by the registrar will not be available until the inquest has been held.

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