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What To Do When Someone Dies

When someone passes away, it can be confusing and difficult to know what to do first. What happens next will depend on where the person passed away. For help and advice, you can contact Far & Beyond at any time and our experienced staff will help you through each stage of the process.

A death at home

Any death can be very upsetting, even if it was expected. You will probably want to take a moment, perhaps say a private goodbye or call a relative or friend to be with you.

When you feel ready, call the doctor. If you call during surgery hours, your loved one’s GP will normally come to the house to certify the death. If the death occurred during the night you’ll need to call an out-of-hours GP and an on-call doctor will visit.

If the death was unexpected, call an ambulance urgently. The police will also attend to assess the circumstances surrounding your loved ones passing. Your loved one will then be taken to a hospital mortuary by the coroners representative until the police coroner has reviewed the circumstances, the coroner will usually be in contact with you regarding the death.

If the coroner decides to investigate the passing of your loved one, every coroners case is different. The coroner and their team will be in contact with you and provide you with guidance and updates during the process. You can also contact Far & Beyond during this time if you would like any further guidance or support.

If the coroner decides not to investigate the passing of your loved one, you will be required to register the death and we will be able to bring your loved one into our care from the hospital mortuary much sooner.

A death in hospital

If you’re the next of kin, the hospital will contact you when your loved one has passed away.  They will be taken to the hospital mortuary unless you wish to spend some time with them first.

Hospital staff will coordinate the paperwork required to certify the death. Staff will also keep your loved one’s possessions safe.  You will be required to register the death, before your loved one can be taken into our care. You can contact us prior to or after registering the death.

A death in a hospice

If you’re the next of kin, the hospice will contact you when your loved one has passed away.  If you weren’t present, the hospice will contact your appointed Funeral Director after the doctor has certified unless you wish to spend some time with them first.  Some hospices will have temporary mortuary facilities, if this is the case, your appointed funeral director may not attend immediately.

Hospice staff will coordinate the paperwork required. Staff will also keep your loved one’s possessions safe. Most hospices have appointment arrangements for collecting belongings and documentation.

A death in a nursing home

If you’re the next of kin, the staff from the nursing home will contact you directly to inform you of the death. A doctor will be called to certify your loved one has passed away. This may be the duty on-call doctor or their usual GP.

You can notify the nursing home that you have a funeral plan with Far & Beyond or you wish for us to act as your Funeral Director. The nursing home will then contact us or you can contact us directly to take over the care of your loved one and inform the staff at the nursing home you have done this.

Most nursing homes will require your loved one to be brought into our care fairly quickly, but you should be offered the chance to have a moment with them. It can be a very emotional time, but staff are trained and experienced in such situations.

You may need to collect your loved one’s belongings or have someone do this for you. Remember to collect any valuables which the home may have been keeping in a safe. You can ask that valuable items, such as a treasured piece of jewellery remain with your loved one or are handed to the funeral director.