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What to do if someone dies in hospital

If a loved one has unfortunately passed away in hospital, the next of kin or closest family members will be informed immediately. Many hospitals throughout the UK have staff specialising in bereavement matters who can explain procedures and next steps to you. Otherwise, this may be done by the ward staff.


Where is my loved one kept if they die in hospital?

When someone dies in hospital, their body will usually be held in the hospital mortuary until collection has been arranged with your chosen funeral provider. This gives you a few days to start making funeral arrangements.

If your loved one is being collected by a funeral provider, they will liaise with the hospital directly to ensure safe transport of the deceased into their mortuary facilities, keeping you fully informed each step of the way. You may need to sign an authorisation form to enable the funeral director to take the deceased into their care from the hospital.


What happens to my loved one’s possessions if they die in hospital?

Your loved one’s possessions will be kept safe by hospital staff until the person administering the estate arranges for them to be collected. The hospital staff will issue a receipt when the possessions are collected.


Will the hospital issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death?

The doctor in charge of caring for your loved one until their death will handle the necessary paperwork. If there were no complications as to the cause of death, they will normally be able to issue the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death immediately. If the Coroner has to conduct a post-mortem, delivery of the medical certificate will have to be delayed until that has taken place.


What to do next

> Register the death

Bring your loved one into our care

Arrange a funeral

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