Follow our information guidelines
to help you through this difficult time

What to do When Death Occurs

First steps:

A doctor must certify the cause of death. There are two essential steps to take immediately after someone dies. Firstly, a doctor must issue a certificate stating the cause of death; Secondly, The death must be registered with your local Registrar, who will issue a death certificate. This page tells you about the first stage, getting the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. Use the links on the left to find out how to register the death.

When someone dies at home

Contact the deceaseds GP. They will visit and confirm that the patient has passed away and issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. You should then contact A & J Morriss & Sons – see contact page to make arrangements for the removal of the deceased to their Chapel of Rest.

When someone dies at home

The staff will arrange for a doctor to visit. Once he or she has confirmed the death – the matron or duty nurse will generally contact the funeral director you have chosen.

When someone dies in hospital

Generally, the doctor attending the deceased will issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. The Hospital Administrator will advise you where and when the certificate will be made available for collection. You will need to speak to the Patients Affairs Office – they will issue various documents enabling you to proceed with contacting a funeral director.

When is a death reported to the coroner?

In some circumstances the death must be reported to the coroner. This happens when:

  • 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
  • the cause of death is believed 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. In most cases this isn’t necessary, however, and the registration can be completed straight away.

What the coroner can do

The coroner can take one of three actions: 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. 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. 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.