What to do when a death occurs
When someone dies, contact us straight away and we can guide you through the next steps, and answer any of your concerns.
If the person has passed away at home, a doctor will need to verify the death and issue a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. Once this has been done we can arrange to collect your loved one and bring them into our care. If you would like for them to remain at home for a little while please advise us as soon as possible, and we can give guidance on this process.
Things are a bit different if the death is unexpected. In this case an emergency doctor or the police will call in a specialist to find out exactly why and how the person died. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, that’s the Coroner. We are employed by HM Coroner to provide our private ambulance service to transport those who pass away suddenly to the hospital mortuary, and are often instructed by the police to do so. If a post mortem is required, we liaise with the Coroner and keep in touch with you. We can often organise a provisional date for the funeral to go ahead as well as ensuring the paperwork is in place so there is no delay in the service going ahead.
If the person needs to be brought back to the UK from anywhere else in the world, or brought back to East Durham from a different part of the UK, then you can get in touch with us straight away. We can help with all the practicalities, like arranging a private ambulance service to bring your loved one into our care at one of our five local Chapels of Rest.
Once you have a completed Medical Certificate of Cause of Death, you can make an appointment with the Registry Office to register the death. The closest offices to us are either Aykley Heads House Durham, Chester le Street or Seaham. Call the telephone number on the envelope to arrange the soonest available appointment. Once the death is officially registered you will receive a Certificate for Burial or Cremation (also known as a ‘green form’), which we will need from you in order for the funeral to take place.
If you think the person might have bought one of our Pre-paid Funeral Plans, let us know and we can check for you.