In Hospital or Hospice

What to do when someone dies in hospital or in a hospice

Sadly, when someone dies in a hospital or hospice it is often expected. The doctors issue a Medical Cause of Death Certificate. They may hand this directly to the next of kin or pass it to the establishment’s bereavement officer. The next of kin can use this certificate to register the death.

Once this certificate has been issued and we have the “Green” form we can come and take the deceased into our care.

It is important at this stage to inform us or the hospital if a cremation will take place. If this is the case, we will require additional paperwork from the doctor (Part I and Part II).

Collecting personal belongings

It can be very emotional time collecting your relative or friend’s personal belongings from a hospital or in a hospice. The staff will be sympathetic. If you know the deceased may have had valuables in the ward safe, please check these have been included. If you would like items to remain with your loved one, for example jewellery, do let the staff know.

How do I register a death?

This is a legal requirement which needs to be done in person. It has to be reported at the register office in the area the person died. You can find out more details in How to register a death.

What happens if the death is unexpected?

In this case, the Coroner will become involved. The police attend on the Coroner’s behalf. The deceased will be taken to hospital for further investigation. If this happens outside of normal working hours, they’ll store the body until they can take it to hospital. There are more details in our page about the involvement by a UK coroner.

What happens after this?

Once the Coroner has finished their investigations, they will release the body to your funeral director. The Coroner will also send paperwork to the Register Office so you can begin the process of registering the death.

Do I have to use the nominated funeral director afterwards?

No, you are free to make your own arrangements. You can use whichever funeral director you wish.