If the death was unexpected, you must alert the Police and Ambulance services straight away by dialling 999. The operator will provide instructions on what you should do including whether resuscitation should be attempted. During this, paramedics will be on route, and upon arrival will either take over resuscitation, start it, or confirm the death.
With unexpected deaths, it’s important to leave your surrounding area untouched. Excluding any attempt at resuscitation.
The Police will then take care of the deceased by arranging a funeral director to collect the body, acting on behalf of the Coroner if the death wasn’t expected.
2. Registering the death of a loved one
After sorting the immediate steps, you need to register the death within 5 days. Here’s how to do it:
Find a registry office
You can use any registry office you’d like, but it’s best to use one in the area where the person died.
Get the information together
When visiting the registry office, you’ll need to bring the medical certificate showing the cause of death, signed by a doctor. If possible, you should also take your loved one’s:
- Birth certificate
- Driving license
- Proof of their address
- NHS medical card or number
- Marriage or civil partnership certificate
Because of the recent covid restrictions, you are not currently required to visit the registry office. You can arrange a telephone appointment by contacting the local registry office by phone or by booking an appointment on their website. The doctor will send the medical cause of death certificate directly to the registrar.
What you’ll receive
After handing over the required information on your loved one, the registrar will give you:
- A certificate for burial or cremation (this is called a Green Form)
- A certificate of registration of death (form BD8)
- Any number of death certificates you require, these are charged at £11 each