What to Do

It is never easy to make important decisions shortly after losing someone.

It is advisable (if available) to talk to the relevant professionals attending during the last illness on the procedure following the death. A Medical Practitioner (Doctor) will issue the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (Form 11) after the death has happened but this varies as to where and when the death occurs.

We will guide you through all the stages concerned and inform you of the duties that you the bereaved have to cope with such as registering the death.

Death in Hospital
(of nautural causes)

The doctor will issue the death certificate after the death has taken place
and has been verified by nursing staff at the time of death.

There is sometimes a delay in issuing the certificate ie; weekend, evening or the doctor's shift pattern. It is advisable to contact the hospital by phone before leaving home to make sure that the certificate is ready for collection.

Death at Home or Care Home
(of natural causes)

If the death was expected and was being treated by the doctor and district nurse, the nurse will have to be present at or after death to verify that the death took place. Following this verification, the funeral director can be contacted to attend to bring the deceased in to our care.

* Please give yourself time to come to terms with the loss and to allow close family to attend the bedside before the funeral director arrives -
This private time can be very beneficial*.

Sudden or unexpected death

If the deceased was not seen by his own doctor or consultant recently, or hasn't had a condition relating to his death, you must phone either the deceased's doctor, hospital doctors or the police. After speaking with the family, the Police will issue a report to the Procurator Fiscal.

On the Procurator Fiscal reading the contents contained, he/she will decide on whether the deceased's local doctor can issue the death certificate or otherwise order a postmortem examination to find out the conclusive cause of death. If a postmortem is being held, only after the postmortem has be concluded by the Pathologist will the death certificate be issued by the same Pathologist.

Time must be allowed for this procedure - It is not uncommon for serious delays owing to Pathologists at court or sheer heavy workload at that time.