Doctors are authorised to confirm death in most circumstances. However, there may be times when a doctor cannot issue a death certificate. If the doctor did not see the deceased within the last 14 days before their death, if they cannot ascertain a cause of death, or if there are any suspicious circumstances surrounding the death, the doctor will refer the case to a coroner.
If the deceased died in a care home, their own home, or anywhere else outside of a hospital or hospice, in the first instance, the doctor will contact the local police, this is normal and is nothing to be concerned about. A police officer will attend the deceased and take some details. Following this, the police will contact us to arrange removal.
If the coroner is involved, the process of registering a death can be slightly different. Following the post-mortem examination, if one is required, the coroner will contact you to discuss their findings, this gives you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. The coroner will inform you when and where you can register the death. You will then need to make an appointment at the earliest opportunity as it may be necessary for the Order for Burial or Cremation to be issued to enable the funeral to take place.
If the coroner feels there is the need for an inquest into the death, they will inform you of this decision. If there is to be an inquest we would ask that you inform us immediately.
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