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What to do when A Death Occurs

What to do when someone dies

It’s hard to know what to do first when someone dies. We are here to help you and will guide you through each step of the process.

First steps

1. The first step is for a doctor or trained person to confirm death.

If the person has died at home, call their doctor or NHS 111 helpline.

A medical professional needs to come and confirm the death. Call the person’s doctor if during surgery hours or NHS 111 helpline out of hours (for example during the night or at the weekend).

If the person died in a hospital, hospice or residential care home, then this is done by members of the care staff following their set procedures.

2. Contact a local funeral director.

Once the death has been confirmed, you can contact us as your local funeral director. We will come and take the person who has died into our care and look after them until the funeral has taken place. You can contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 0118 957 3650.

Unexpected death

In the event that the death is sudden or unexpected, the police will need to be involved. They will contact the coroner and arrangements will be made for the person who has died to be taken to one of several specialised hospital mortuaries. The coroner will then carry out their investigation, often including a post mortem examination.

You still have the choice of funeral director to use and we can help with all the arrangements.

Next steps

In most cases, you will need to register the death within 5 working days – learn about registering a death.


Start arranging the funeral. We understand this is a difficult time for you. We pride ourselves on offering a considerate, personal service in a professional and compassionate way. Find out more about the service we offer.

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