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When Someone Dies

In Hospital

If the death occurs in hospital, the hospital staff will contact the person named by the deceased as next of kin. This may be, but need not be, a relative. The hospital will advise whether it is possible for a doctor to issue the medical certificate, and when this will be available for collection. If a doctor who has treated the deceased is unable to issue a death certificate the death will be reported to HM Coroner for that district.

“The only things you ever really have are the ones you hold inside your heart.”

Bruce Coville

“The world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming.”

Helen Keller

At Home or in a Nursing Home

If the death was expected, contact the doctor who attended the deceased during their final illness, if the death occurred at a Nursing Home the staff will contact the doctor. If the doctor can certify the cause of death you will be given:

  • A Medical Certificate that shows the cause of death (this will be in a sealed envelope, addressed to the registrar);
  • A Formal Notice which states that the doctor has signed the Medical Certificate and tells you how to register the death.

Contact us on 0161 432 2131.


If death is sudden or unexpected, you should contact the following people:

  • the family doctor (if known)
  • the deceased’s nearest relative
  • the police, who will help find the people listed above if necessary.

If there is any reason to suspect that the death was not due to natural causes, do not touch or remove anything in the room. The death may be referred to the coroner.

The Coroner is involved

In any of the following circumstances the doctor may report the death to the coroner:

an accident or injury
an industrial disease
during a surgical operation
before recovering from an anaesthetic
if the cause of death is unknown
the death was sudden and unexplained

If the person who has died has not been seen or treated by a doctor within the last 14 days or has been admitted into hospital less than 24 hours before they died the death must be reported to the coroner.

Contact us on 0161 432 2131 for advice on procedures.