When someone dies in hospital, the process for releasing the deceased into the care of a Funeral Director can vary, depending on the size and type of hospital.
Larger General Hospitals, such as Nottingham University Hospitals (QMC and City) or Royal Derby Hospital have facilities to enable them to look after the deceased, until the necessary paperwork is complete to release the deceased into their Funeral Director’s care.
Smaller hospitals such as Ilkeston, Ripley and Babington do not have such facilities to look after the deceased and therefore need a Funeral Director to attend immediately. When someone dies in one of these hospitals, the hospital will instruct a local Funeral Director to collect and look after the deceased until the necessary paperwork can be completed.
The hospital may contact us, another local Funeral Director that they have an existing arrangement with, or they may ask you if you have a preferred Funeral Director . If the deceased has to be taken to another funeral director, but you would like us to handle the funeral arrangements, we will be able to transfer them into our care once the necessary paperwork is complete.
When an in-patient dies in a General Hospital, such as the Nottingham University Hospitals or Royal Derby Hospital, the ward staff will provide the family with the details for how to get in touch with the hospital’s Bereavement Centre.
The Bereavement Centre in larger hospitals has the responsibility for liaising with the family on a variety of different matters – including counselling, the return of personal belongings to the family, certifying the death and making arrangements for the release of the deceased into the care of a local Funeral Director.
It normally takes 1 – 2 working days for the Bereavement Centre to be in a position to make any necessary arrangements with the family, following the death. This may take longer if the doctor has to speak to the Coroner before completing the paperwork. We generally recommend families contact the Bereavement Centre on the working day after the death to make an appointment to discuss next steps.
These hospitals now have the facility to register the death at the hospital, and the Bereavement Centre staff will be able to organise this for you.
The Bereavement Centre staff may also ask if as a family you know if the funeral will be a burial or cremation. They will ask you this question because the type of funeral determines the type of paperwork that will be needed to enable the death to be certified.
In these hospitals, it is not possible for us to collect the deceased until a medical cause of death certificate has been issued by the Hospital Doctors and the death has been formally registered. Until this time the deceased will remain in the care of the hospital mortuary.
The amount of time it takes hospitals to make the practical arrangements for a death to be certified and registered can vary, depending on the hospital and circumstances in which the death occurred. The Bereavement Centre will however be able to advise you on expected timescales for certifying and registering the death, when you attend your initial appointment.
Once the death has been registered and The Bereavement Centre has received all of the relevant paperwork, we can (on your instruction) arrange for the deceased to be released into our care.