Bereavement support during Covid-19

Immediate Arrangements

Contact the Funeral Director and the Hospital Bereavement Office.

The Funeral Director

There is no need to wait until you have registered the death before contacting the Funeral Director and you will find they will be able to guide you in making the funeral arrangements as well as offer more general advice.

Bereavement Team

A ‘Medical Certificate of Cause of Death’ is a legal document which must be completed by the doctor’s team who looked after your loved one. A bereavement advisor will telephone you when this has been written and sent to County Hall and provide contact details for registering the death.

Registrars

To keep you safe during Covid-19, you will not be able to register a death in person. Temporary arrangements have been put in place so that you can do this via a telephone appointment and enable the funeral to go ahead without unnecessary delays.

The registrars will ask how many death certificates you require that currently cost £11.00 each.

A green form will be sent electronically to your chosen funeral director. This is free of charge and is official proof that you have registered the death and that the funeral can take place.

Deaths referred to HM Coroner

By law, if the doctor is not able to issue a death certificate, (for example, if someone dies suddenly or unexpectedly in hospital or following an accident or other unnatural event), they are legally required to inform the coroner. The coroner is a lawyer working with a team of officers to investigate unnatural, unexpected or sudden deaths. They will decide whether the doctor can issue the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death, or whether a post-mortem examination or inquest is required.

As part of this process, one of the Officers may need to talk to you about the circumstances leading up to your relative’s death and give you the opportunity to ask questions or raise any concerns.

Useful contact details

  • Bereavement Advisors 01603 287165 / 287166 / 289440 / 287465
  • Hospital Switchboard 01603 286286
  • Chaplaincy Services 01603 287470
  • Mortuary 01603 287192
  • Registration Service 0344 800 8020
  • Coroner’s Office (secretary) 01603 774773
  • Further information is available in of the hospital’s bereavement booklet.