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See GOV.UK's step-by-step guide to what to do when someone dies, including who you should contact.
The funeral directors will usually arrange for the deceased to be transferred from the hospital to the chapel of rest until the funeral is arranged.
The hospital will arrange for the nearest relative to collect the deceased person's possessions.
The hospital bereavement officer will advise you when the medical cause of death certificate has been issued. You can then proceed to book an appointment to register the death.
Contact the doctor, who will come to certify the cause of death. The doctor will give you:
You may wish to contact the person's minister of religion if you have not already done so. Arrangements for the funeral may be made by a funeral director.
If the death followed illness from HIV or AIDS there may be special rules about handling the body. The Terrence Higgins Trust can advise on funeral arrangements.
If the death was sudden or unexpected, you should contact:
If there is any reason to suspect the death was not due to natural causes, do not touch or remove anything from the room. The death may be referred to the coroner. The doctor may ask the relatives for permission to carry out a post-mortem examination. This is a medical examination of the body which can find out more about the cause of the death and should not delay the funeral.
The doctor may report the death to the coroner in any of the following circumstances:
If the death is reported to the coroner, you cannot register the death or arrange a funeral without the coroner's authorisation.
Please note that the coroner will send the paperwork directly to the Register Office enabling the registration of death to proceed.
A coroner can order a post-mortem examination without getting the relative's permission. This examination will find out the cause of death.
The coroner may also wish to investigate the circumstances leading up to a death (this is called an inquest). When an inquest is called, the coroner's office will contact the relatives. This is a legal formality. Please note that an interim death certificate will normally be issued by the coroner to allow the funeral to take place.
When an inquest is to be held, the death cannot be registered until the conclusion of the inquest. The death registration will then be completed by the Register Office, and you will then be able to obtain copies of the death certificate.