When someone dies in hospital
If the deceased has registered for organ or tissue donation and he/she is eligible, the transplant coordinator at the hospital will talk to the next of kin and/or the person previously appointed to make medical decisions.
This needs to happen very soon after the death as the organ(s) or tissue will need to be removed quickly.
Many hospitals have members of bereavement staff to explain the procedures and coordinate the documentation. If not, ward staff will keep you informed.
On this page:Documents you'll receive
Moving the deceased to a funeral home
Referral to a coroner
You will need certain documents to be completed before you are able to register the death:
- Medical Certificate of Cause of Death - this may be placed in an envelope. You can ask for an explanation of what has been given as the cause of death.
- Formal notice - attached to the Medical Certificate of Death. This confirms that the certificate has been signed, and gives a list of people who are entitled to register the death and the information they will need to be able to do this.
Please be aware that the preparation of documents can take some time, as they can only be completed by members of staff who were directly involved in the care of the patient before they died.
Most hospitals operate an appointment system for collecting documents and personal belongings. Bereavement or ward staff at the hospital will tell you more.
You will be asked to contact a funeral director who will arrange to move the deceased from the hospital to a funeral home.
You may be asked to sign a form authorising this.
In some cases, hospital medical staff will have to refer a death to the coroner (or procurator fiscal in Scotland). For example, if the death followed an operation or an accident. If the death is referred to the coroner the documentation detailed above will not be issued.
Please click here for more information on the role of the coroner
Your 'to do' list:
Check for important paperwork
Register the death
Find out if probate is needed
Plan the funeral