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VETERANS BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT SERVICES 
Supporting all those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces and Merchant Navy 
as they experience bereavement and loss. 
 
 
WHAT TO DO WHEN SOMEONE DIES 
 
We fully appreciate that this can be a devastating and confusing time; we would like to reassure you that we are here to assist you with and are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you may have. 
 
It is not necessary to have the death certificate in your possession before starting the plans for your loved ones funeral and we are here to assist you at all times.  
The following information may help you understand what to do when bereavement occurs and one of our advisers will be happy to guide and support you. 
 
When a death occurs at home: 
The first contact should be with the family doctor; he will normally call at the house and confirm a death has occurred. Your nominated funeral director will then take your loved one from the home to the chapel of rest. The Doctor, if satisfied as to the cause of death will issue a medical certificate showing the cause of death. This may take a couple of days and you will usually have to collect this from the surgery. This will then enable you to register the death and collect the death certificate from the registrar. 
 
When a death occurs at a nursing or residential home: 
When a person dies in a hospital, or a nursing home, the manager, sister or staff nurse will be there to assist you. It is usual to inform the home in advance of whom your nominated funeral director is and we can advise you on recommended funeral directors. The staff will advise you on contacting the doctor to arrange for the medical certificate showing the cause of death to be collected. It is likely that a duty doctor will have attended. This will then enable you to register the death and collect the death certificate from the registrar. 
 
When a death occurs at a general hospital: 
When a person dies in a General Hospital, you will need to make an appointment at the Bereavement Support Office to collect the medical certificate showing the cause of death and any personal effects of the deceased. Once the necessary paperwork has been completed, the nominated funeral director will make arrangements to take your loved on into there care. This will then enable you to register the death and collect the death certificate from the registrar. 
 
When someone dies suddenly: 
All sudden deaths must be reported to the Coroner. The police usually attend to ensure that there are no suspicious circumstances. The Coroner will then decide whether a post-mortem and an inquest will need to be conducted. When this occurs, the Police will ask their own staff to transport the deceased to the local hospital or public mortuary. The choice of the funeral director for the forthcoming service is solely the decision of the family 
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