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Bereavement adviceHealth Advice - Bereavement

If a death occurs at home:

  • Telephone the doctor who may wish to visit to confirm death has taken place.
  • A doctor will, where possible, issue a certificate or inform you where and when it can be collected. There may be circumstances where a certificate cannot be issued.
  • Tell the doctor (if you can) whether the deceased is for cremation or burial.
  • Contact a funeral director who will visit and take the deceased into their care.
  • You will also receive a telephone call from a second doctor in order that the cause of death can be verified.
  • To register a death ring 01903 839351.

When a death occurrs in a hospital:

  • Contact a funeral director as soon as you can to inform them that their services will be required.
  • Telephone the hospital administrator to arrange collection of doctor's death certificate.
  • Tell the administrator (if you can) whether the deceased is for cremation or burial.

When death is sudden or as the result of an accident:

  • If at home telephone a doctor who will need to confirm that the death has taken place.
  • The doctor will contact the local police/coroner's office.
  • A police officer will need to contact the funeral director, you will be asked if you have a preference, if not the duty one will be called. Please remember the duty funeral director is acting for the coroner at this time, the final choice is yours.
  • Contact the funeral director of your choice as soon as you can for further advice.

What to do next:

  • Take the doctor's death certificate to the registrar's office, by appointment only, to Centenary House, Durrington Lane, Worthing BN13 2BQ Tel: 01903 839351, or for the area in which the death took place, also take the deceased's medical card if available. See West Sussex County Council's website for their online booking system.
  • After collecting a green form from the registrar, take it along to the funeral director or telephone for a home visit, they will take over responsibility for arranging the funeral.
  • Following a death reported to HM Coroner contact the funeral director as soon as possible - do not wait for a certificate to be issued.
  • If in any difficulty ring a funeral director.