In Times of Bereavement

What To Do In Times of Bereavement

If Death Occurs At Home

Telephone the doctor who may need to visit to confirm that the death has taken place.  If it happened during the night, you do not need to contact the doctor until the following morning. If you wish to speak to someone when the surgery is closed, please call 111.

Telephone the local Registry Office in which the death took place. They will arrange a convenient appointment with you to complete the death registration.  They will issue the Death Certificate which they generally will post to you a few days later.

If possible, you should also take the following documents. They are not absolutely essential but provide much of the additional information you need for the registration, but do not delay registering just because you cannot find this paperwork.

    • NHS number/ card (also called the medical card)
    • Birth certificate
    • Driving licence
    • Council tax bill
    • Marriage or civil partnership certificate (if applicable)
    • If possible, please take the National Insurance number of the deceased and the number of a surviving spouse or civil partner.
    • Passport
    • Proof of address (e.g. utility bill)

The Registrar will normally issue a Green coloured certificate for you to give to your funeral director who will look after necessary arrangements for the funeral. The Registrar will also issue a white notification certificate for the DSS. They will also enquire as to the number of Certified Copies you require for dealing with the deceased finances (a fee is payable for each copy).

Contact a Funeral Director.

If The Death Occurs In Hospital

Many hospitals have bereavement staff who coordinate the issue of documentation and explain the procedure to you. This may also be done by the ward staff.

You will be asked to contact a funeral director who will arrange to collect the deceased from the hospital. You may need to sign a form authorising the funeral director to take the deceased to the funeral home.

Collect the certificate from the hospital then follow the instructions as above - contact the Registrar and arrange an appointment to register the death.

Notes For Cremation

Your funeral director will liaise directly with the surgery regarding the additional certification required.

Bereavement Support Services

Cruse Bereavement Support

Helps anyone suffering bereavement to understand their grief and cope with their loss.

0808 808 1677 – or Online Chat


CHUMS: Hertfordshire and West

Essex suicide bereavement service

Emotional and practical support for adults and children affected by a suicide or suspected suicide death.

01279 212170


Support After Suicide Partnership

Practical information and emotional support for those with experience of suicide or other unexplained death, including the Help is at Hand resource.



Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS)

A safe, confidential environment to share experiences and feelings with others for support.

0300 111 5065


Age Space

Bereavement Support in Hertfordshire


Talk-in-Herts Bereavement Counselling Support

Counselling can provide recently bereaved people with the opportunity to express and explore the difficult feelings that they may be experiencing in a safe and supportive environment.

07498 073093



116 123


Call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergencyNHS ChoicesThis site is brought to you by My Surgery Website