First Steps

What to do when someone dies

It can be difficult to ensure everything is covered when dealing with a death. We have put together some useful information, to help get you started. When someone dies, it usually takes place in a hospital, nursing home or at home.

Hospital or Nursing home

The hospital or nursing home staff will make arrangements for the doctor to issue the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) and the doctor’s surgery will advise you when it is available. Let the home or hospital know which funeral director you have chosen to save any confusion or delay when death occurs, and if it is to be a burial or cremation. For cremation, additional paperwork will need to be completed by the doctors. Please note there is a fee of £82.00 for the completion of this document. The contact telephone number for Bereavement Services at the Great Western Hospital is 01793 604392/3


The first contact would normally be the family doctor. They would call at the house and if satisfied with the cause of death, will issue the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD). They will then e-mail this to the Registry Office to you can register the death. After the doctor has attended you should call us on 01793 522797 at any time day or night to bring your loved one into our care.


In some cases, the death may be reported to the coroner. This could be because the death was unexpected, a road accident or simply that the deceased has not been seen by a doctor in the preceding 14 days. This should not unduly delay the funeral. You should still phone us, and we will explain the procedures involved.