In a Nursing Home or Care Home

What to do when someone dies in a nursing home or care home

If someone dies in a nursing home, and the death was expected, a registered nurse at that home will confirm the death. If they die in a care home, and the death was expected, a competent adult can confirm the death. Please contact us.

The deceased’s own doctor will issue the Medical Cause of Death Certificate to the family or next of kin. You will need this to register the death. Often you can collect this from the surgery. This needs to be done within five calendar days.

The Care Quality Commission has more details on their web page Who can confirm death.

Collecting personal belongings

It can be very emotional time collecting your friend’s or relative’s belongings. However, when someone dies in a nursing home or care home, staff are sympathetic to your situation. If you know the deceased may have had valuables in a safe, please check these have been included. If you would like items to remain with your loved one, for example a treasured piece of jewellery, please let the staff know.

How do I register a death?

This is a legal requirement that needs to be done in person. There are 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. A nominated funeral director will remove the deceased 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 Involvement by a UK coroner.

What happens after this?

Once the Coroner has finished their investigations, they release the body to your funeral director. They’ll also send paperwork to the Register Office so the family can start registering the death.

Do I have to use the nominated funeral director afterwards?

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