If the deceased has died in a hospital and you are the named next of kin, the hospital staff will inform you.
If the person who has died had registered for organ or tissue donation and they are eligible, the transplant coordinator at the hospital will talk to you as the organs and tissues for transplantation must be removed very soon after death.
Many hospitals have bereavement staff who coordinate the issue of documentation and explain the procedures to you. In other places this may be done by the ward staff.
Please note that preparing the documents takes time as they can only be completed by medical staff who were directly involved in the care of the patient whilst they were alive. Most hospitals operate appointment systems for collecting documents and belongings of patients who have died.
In some cases, the hospital medical staff will have to refer the death to the coroner. This means they will not be able to issue the Medical Certificate and the coroner’s officer will give you further information about when you can register the death.
You may be asked to sign formal documents, so the belongings of the deceased can be given to you.
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. You will have an opportunity to see your loved one at the hospital after they have died. Most hospitals have a special room or chapel for this purpose. Your loved one will be taken to the hospital mortuary and remain there until you have made arrangements with a funeral director. Once you have engaged a funeral director they will liaise with the hospital and medical staff and will arrange to collect your loved one and take them into their care.