What to do if someone dies at home
When someone dies at home, there are a number of things to consider depending on how they passed and whether the death was expected or unexpected. If they died during the day or at night, there are different steps to take.
What to do if someone dies at home and their death was expected
During the day
When someone dies at home and the death was expected, for example, due to a terminal illness, the person’s GP should be called. If you are unable to contact their GP for any reason, you should call the NHS helpline on 111.
If your loved one passes away at home during the night, you should call the NHS helpline (dial 111) and they will advise you on what to do next. You can alternatively wait until the next morning to call the person’s GP.
If the cause of death is known, the doctor will issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death, allowing you to register the death. You should also contact a funeral provider immediately to arrange for them to bring your loved one into their care.
What to do if someone dies at home and their death was unexpected
If someone dies at home and the death was unexpected, you should call 999 as soon as possible and ask for an ambulance.
The operator will provide you with instructions and establish whether you can try to resuscitate the person. Upon arrival, the paramedics will attempt resuscitation or confirm the death.
If the cause of death is unknown or the death was unexpected, the police or paramedics will arrange for the collection of the deceased and transport into the Coroner’s care (or Procurator Fiscal in Scotland). You will be able to arrange for your loved one’s collection from the Coroners by your chosen funeral provider when they release the body upon completion of their investigation.
It is important to note that a funeral cannot be conducted until the Coroner’s inquest has been completed and cause of death established.
In both instances, if you are not the person’s next of kin or a close relative, they should be notified as soon as possible.
What to do next