What happens when someone dies in a hospital

What happens when someone dies in a hospital

Unlike when someone dies at home or in a care home, deaths which occur at a hospital follow a slightly different set of steps. Firstly, it’s much more likely that you’ll be able to be with the deceased as they pass away and also be able to spend some time with them after. When a loved one dies in a hospital, you’ll likely be made aware that death is imminent and be able to prepare for it. Though knowing that the death of a loved one is imminent doesn’t take away the impact of the loss, you may be able to use this time to accept it.

So, what happens when someone dies in a hospital? Read our step-by-step guide and be prepared at a difficult time.

What to do when someone dies at home

Unlike when a death occurs in a care home or a hospital, you’ll likely not have anyone around you who can provide professional advice. That’s why it’s important to know what you’ll need to do before that happens.

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What to do when someone dies in a care home

When someone dies in a care home, it’s slightly different to a home death but the steps you’ll need to take are mostly the same.

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Registering the death

Registering a death following that occurred in a hospital is usually quite straightforward. As there are medical professionals all around, you’ll typically receive your medical certificate of cause of death (MCCD) shortly after the death. However, if the death occurred within 24 hours of arrival at the hospital or was unexpected, a Coroner may be referred to to determine the correct cause of death.

Making funeral arrangements

Following the death, you’ll need to decide how you wish to proceed with funeral arrangements. If you discussed plans in advance with your loved one, you may know exactly what to do, otherwise you’ll need to start thinking about your options. Luckily, when someone dies in a hospital there are exceptional mortuary facilities where your loved one will be cared for until a decision has been reached. If you choose to do a DIY funeral, the hospital may agree to care for your loved one until the day of the funeral.

Entering professional care

If you’re not making all of the arrangements yourself, you’ll need to let your chosen funeral provider know the details of your loved one’s passing, including their current location. Once the funeral provider has all of their details they’ll liaise with the hospital to arrange a time and date to bring the deceased into their care. With hospitals having their own mortuary facilities they’re able to look after your loved one for longer after their passing, so they may not be collected by your chosen funeral director until a few days after the death occurred.

Arranging the funeral

While your funeral provider is taking care of your loved one, you’ll need to decide on funeral arrangements. Whether you’re planning the funeral yourself or using the support of a funeral professional, you’ll now need to decide on exactly what you want to happen at the funeral.

From filling out paperwork and picking songs for the service to planning a celebration of life thereafter, our 24/7 support team can support you each step along the way.

Delivering donations

If your loved one dies in a hospital, either expectedly or unexpectedly, many families ask for donations towards the hospital in lieu of flowers at the funeral to thank them for their care. If you wish to do so, most hospitals will allow you to deliver your donations both in person by cash, card or cheque or by digital money transfer.

How To Arrange A Funeral

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Here for you 24/7

When you are ready - call us on 01543 212 000 and we’ll collect the deceased from the place of death and bring them into our care



Help with the paperwork

As we care for your loved one in our mortuary, your advisor will help you book their cremation and complete all the paperwork



The Ashes

After the cremation, we’ll scatter the ashes in our garden of remembrance or they can be hand-delivered back to you at no extra cost

A step-by-step guide on what to do when someone dies in England & Wales

After a death, knowing what steps you’ll need to take, and the order in which to take them can be daunting. This guide refers to what you’ll need to do if the deceased is in England or Wales.

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A step-by-step guide on what to do when someone dies in Scotland

When someone dies, there are a number of steps you’ll need to perform before the cremation can take place. This easy-to-follow guide explains what you’ll need to do when someone dies in Scotland

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Contact us

If you need to organise a funeral today please call us 24/7 and we can make all the arrangements. If you have a question about a funeral plan call or message us we will advise you of the best options.

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