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What to do in Time of Bereavement

When a Death Occurs as Home:

Telephone the practice, a doctor will visit and confirm that death has taken place.

If the doctor who calls is certain of the cause of death, he/she will complete a death certificate which you can collect from the practice later. If a certificate is to be issued you can contact a funeral director straight away, they will make all of the arrangements for the funeral including contacting clergy and organising the burial or cremation. They also offer advice on press announcements, flowers etc.

If a death certificate can't be issued for any reason (the commonest being that the patient hasn't seen a doctor recently), then the Coroner (a government officer who investigates the cause of unexplained deaths) will be contacted (or when he is not on duty, the police), and a post-mortem (examination of the deceased) may need to be held before the funeral. You should still contact a funeral director.

When a death certificate has been issued it should be taken to the local Registrar of Births and Deaths. Cambridgeshire Registration Service now offers the facility to book an appointment with the Registrar on line. You will need to take with you the death certificate, and if possible (not essential so long as the informant is certain of the information) the deceased’s NHS medical card and birth certificate. The Registrar will issue a green certificate which you should take to your funeral director who will then take over proceedings.

When a Death Occurs in Hospital:

Contact your funeral director to tell them that their services will be required.

If the hospital are happy to issue a death certificate, take it together with the release note (plus the birth certificate and medical card of the deceased) to the Registrar as above.

If a post-mortem is necessary the hospital will advise you further.


If the deceased is to be cremated you may be contacted by a doctor from another practice in the Ramsey area who will ask you about the circumstances leading up to the death.

This is a new government directive to ensure that there are no suspicious circumstances related to the death. If after speaking with you the doctor has no concerns he/she will complete a 'cremation form' allowing the cremation to proceed.

This procedure does not apply if the deceased is to be buried without cremation.

Web Links:

Funeral Director:

Registrars of Deaths:

Huntingdon: Ferrrars Road, Huntingdon, Cambs PE29 3DH Tel: 01480 375821
Peterborough: Peterborough: 33 Thorpe Road, Peterborough, PE3 6AB Tel: 01733 566323
March: March: Audmoor 93 High Street, March, Cambs PE15 9LH Tel: 01354 658307

Bereavement Counselling:

National: Cruse Bereavement Care: Phone: 0844 477 9400
Local: Huntingdonshire Cruse: 01480 414511
Local Services, Let
Local Services, Let