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When Someone Dies


What to do when someone dies

We appreciate that it may be difficult or too soon for you to make decisions or simply take in information in the early stages of bereavement. Should you require any further information or have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us on 0115 9325469.

If the death occurs at home, in residential care or in a small community hospital

If the death occurs while the person is in their home you should first telephone the medical practice of the person who has passed away. Once the Doctor, Registered Nurse or Paramedic has certified death and when you are ready you may contact us at any hour to transfer the deceased to our chapel of rest.

If the death occurred in residential care or in a small community hospital e.g. Ilkeston Hospital, the staff will make contact with the doctor for you. Such hospitals without facilities to care for the deceased will contact us once the death has been certified and we shall transfer the deceased to our chapel of rest. Again, this can be done at any hour.

If the death occurs in a hospital

If the death occurs in one of the larger hospitals e.g. the Royal Derby Hospital or Nottingham University Hospital, the hospital nursing staff will contact the next of kin.

The next of kin will need to liaise with the hospital Bereavement Office. They will advise whether it is possible for the doctor to issue the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death, allowing the death to be registered and, if so, when it will be made available for collection. Appointments with the Registrar are sometimes available at the hospital.

If the doctor who has been treating the deceased is unable to issue a Medical Certificate the death will be reported to the Coroner’s Officer for the district in which the death occurred.

Please be aware that the hospital Bereavement Offices, Registrars, Coroner’s Offices and hospital mortuaries are open only during normal working weekdays. Once the death has been registered and any necessary paperwork has been completed we shall transfer the deceased to our chapel of rest within office hours.

When somebody dies suddenly

If the death was sudden, unexpected or if the deceased had not seen the doctor in the last 14 days the death could be referred to the Coroner. The Coroner may decide that a post mortem be held to establish the cause of death.

In the case of a sudden or unexpected death you should first make contact with the Ambulance Service or the family doctor.

The protocol that will follow in such situations is that the Coroners Office will need to be informed about the death. The GP may be given permission to issue the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death, however it is probable that it will be the Coroner's duty to hold a post-mortem examination to establish the cause of death.

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