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When Death Occurs

Depending on where the person has died, there are different things you’ll need to do. If someone dies unexpectedly or they haven’t been seen by their GP in the last 14 days, their death will be reported to the coroner, who may call for a post-mortem or inquest. This may take some time and can delay the funeral. If you’re in need of support and guidance, you can call us any time of the day or night on 01226 496 111.

In a Care Home or Nursing Home

If your loved one has died at their care or nursing home, you can call us when a doctor has certified the death and we will come to collect your loved one with absolutely no obligation, and bring them into our care. The GP will need to be notified, who will provide a medical certificate showing the cause of death.

In a Hospital or Hospice

If the person has died in hospital, a medical certificate will be issued. The person will usually rest in the hospital mortuary until a funeral director is appointed or arrangements are made. The hospice will guide you on procedures depending on local practice, however we can usually attend to bring the person into our care as soon as the hospice doctor has certified that the person has passed away.

Registering the Death

You’ll need to make an appointment at your local register office to register the death within five days. You’ll need to take along the certificate showing the cause of death, signed by a doctor. If you have their birth certificate, NHS medical card or number and marriage or civil partnership certificates, take these along as well.


You’ll be issued with a certificate for burial or cremation (the green form) and a death certificate. The funeral director will need the green form in order for the funeral to go ahead.


If possible, try to get several copies of the death certificate, as various organisations may ask for it (banks, life insurance companies, etc). The following Government website provides helpful information about how to handle the administration following a death.

When Someone Dies Suddenly

If the death was unexpected, you should dial 999 and ask for an ambulance and police immediately. You will be told what to do by the operator to establish whether you can try and resuscitate the person. Paramedics will carry out resuscitation or will confirm the death. Leave the area untouched apart from any attempt at resuscitation. The police will arrange for the body to be moved by a funeral director acting for the coroner if the death is unexpected. Even if this is not Barnsley Municipal Funerals, you can still instruct us to take over the handling of the funeral and collection of your loved one. If the police or ambulance service are involved, or if someone dies within 24 hours of arriving at hospital, it is usually regarded as a sudden death.


The hospital staff are legally obliged to refer all sudden and unexpected deaths to the local coroner, who will determine whether a post mortem examination is needed. Please be aware that depending on the circumstances of death and the outcome of the examination, the process can take some time. However, it is not always the case that you are unable to go ahead with the funeral.


If a post-mortem examination is required, you will be contacted by the Coroner’s Office directly. The coroner will notify the registrar so that you can register the death.


The Coroner’s Service Tel: 0114 273 8721. Or email

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