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When someone dies in Hospital


If the death was in Hospital and next of kin were not present at the time of death, hospital staff will lay out the body and move the deceased to the hospital mortuary. The next of kin will be contacted to arrange for the deceased to be removed, normally by a local Funeral Director of your choice to a Chapel of Rest.

The next of kin will be required to collect personal belongings from the hospital.

Medical Certificate

A hospital doctor will issue a Medical Certificate – usually in a sealed envelope – addressed to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages giving the cause of death.  There is no charge for this certificate and you may also be provided with an information booklet advising how to register the death.

If cremation is to take place, a second Doctor’s signature will be needed and there may be a charge for this. 

Cause of Death

If the cause of death is unknown the hospital may ask for your permission to carry out a post-mortem examination to determine the cause of death. They should explain clearly why this is necessary and you will be asked to sign a consent form. It is your choice and you do not have to agree to this.

If the doctor is unable to issue a Medical Certificate they will refer to the local Coroner who may order a port-mortem examination. You do not have the right to object to a post-mortem examination if ordered by the Coroner but you should state if you have religious or other objections as to why this should not take place.

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