When a death occurs

If Death Occurs At Home

Telephone the GP (General Practitioner), who should visit to confirm that the patient has died and give permission for the Funeral Director to arrange transfer of the deceased to their funeral home. When someone dies at home, the GP should be called as soon as possible. The GP will normally visit the house and, if the death was expected, should be able to issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) stating the cause of death. If the person did not have a GP, or you do not know the name of the GP, or if the death was unexpected and sudden, an ambulance should be called instead.
A doctor is not allowed to issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death if they are unsure about the cause, or if they have not seen the deceased within 2 weeks of their death. When this happens the death must be reported to H.M. Coroner and the deceased will most likely need to be taken to the local hospital mortuary, where a post mortem examination may need to take place. The Ambulance or Police Service in attendance should know the local arrangements in force to help organise this for you.

If in doubt, contact us at Pepperdine Barrett, at any time, for further advice.

We can call to transfer the deceased any time at your request and convenience. Then, at a later stage, after you have had time to gather your thoughts, we will then either visit you again at your home, or you can arrange to meet at our office to discuss the funeral arrangements and we will also advise you regarding the death registration procedures.

If Death Occurs In Hospital

Contact us at R. Pepperdine & Sons Ltd. We will arrange to either visit you at home, or you can call at our office in order to discuss the funeral arrangements. We will also advise you regarding the death registration procedures. If you intend to call at our office, it is helpful, although not necessary, if you telephone us beforehand to ensure we have a member of staff on hand to look after you personally.

Our office is open from 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday. However, we are available at any other time for an appointment at our office or at your home for the purpose of making funeral arrangements.

A Duty Funeral Director is available at all times to provide a 24 hour service.




The Procedure

When a death has been reported to the Coroner, there will be one of four courses of action taken:

1. After initial enquiries, the Coroner may agree for a GP (General Practitioner) or a hospital doctor to issue the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) to enable you to register the death.

2. After initial enquiries, the Coroner may request a Post Mortem to be carried out to ascertain the cause of death. The paperwork for you to register the death will then be issued by the Coroner.

3. If the cause of death cannot be accurately ascertained after a Post Mortem, then the Coroner may decide to open an Inquest which may take place in two parts. Firstly, a Preliminary Inquest will be held for the purpose of Formal Identification of the deceased (you may be asked to identify the deceased with a Coroner’s Liaison Officer or Police Officer present), after which it is usual for the necessary paperwork to be issued for the funeral to take place. In this instance, the Coroner will issue you ‘Interim Death Certificates’ – you can request multiple copies. Then at a later date, a full Inquest will be held, following which the paperwork will be issued for the death to be registered (this is usually done by the Coroner) – At the Coroner’s discretion, a full Inquest sometimes takes place initially.

4. The Coroner may want to open an Inquest without the need of having to have a Post Mortem (see number 3 for the Inquest Process)

When the Coroner is involved, there will be delays in decision outcomes, the completion of paperwork, registering the death, etc.
Unfortunately this is something that as a Funeral Director, we have no control over.

H.M. Coroner:  http://www.manchester.gov.uk/info/626/coroners/5532/when_death_occurs