Gallagher Funeral Services

A Family Owned Business

Chapels in Leeds and Harrogate

What To Do When Someone Dies

Coping with the death of a loved one can be difficult and if you have never had to deal with the situation before it can be hard to know what happens next, and what you have to do.


We have provided a brief guide as to what steps you should take depending on your situation. Should you need any advice, please contact as soon as possible and we will be on hand to guide you through the process.

In Hospital

If the death occurs in hospital, the hospital staff will contact the person named by the deceased as next of kin. This may be, but need not be, a relative.


The hospital will advise whether it is possible for a doctor to issue the medical certificate, and when this will be available for collection. If a doctor who has treated the deceased is unable to issue a death certificate the death will be reported to HM Coroner for that district.


Please note that hospital bereavement offices are usually only open during normal working weekdays.

A Sudden Death

If death is sudden or unexpected, you should contact the following people:


• The family doctor (if known)

• The deceased's nearest relative

• The police, who will help find the people listed above if necessary.


If there is any reason to suspect that the death was not due to natural causes, do not touch or remove anything in the room. The death may be referred to the coroner.

At Home or in a Nursing Home

If the death was expected, contact the doctor who attended the deceased during their final illness, if the death occurred at a Nursing Home the staff will contact the doctor. If the doctor can certify the cause of death you will be given:


• A Medical Certificate that shows the cause of death (this will be in a sealed envelope, addressed to the registrar).


• A Formal Notice which states that the doctor has signed the Medical Certificate and tells you how to register the death.

When Will A Coroner Be Involved?

In any of the following circumstances the doctor may report the death to the coroner:


• An accident or injury

• An industrial disease

• During a surgical operation

• Before recovering from an anaesthetic

• If the cause of death is unknown

• The death was sudden and unexplained


If the person who has died has not been seen or treated by a doctor within the last 14 days or has been admitted into hospital less than 24 hours before they died the death must be reported to the coroner.