What to do when someone dies

The first steps to be taken when a death occurs are often the hardest for people to make.

At D.J. Bewley The Family Funeral Service we have experienced local staff on call at all times:

Our advice to all families, is that when a death does occur they contact us immediately.
Our main telephone number is 01225 702521.

There are key things you must do in the first few days after someone dies. Our advice is always to contact your funeral director first.

When the death occurs in Hospital

Unless present when death occurs, the relatives will be notified by the nursing staff as soon as possible. Sometimes relatives or friends ask to see the deceased in the mortuary chapel. This can usually be arranged direct with the hospital. Arrangements can then be made with the Hospital Patient Affairs office staff to deal with the formalities. These will include collecting the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (issued by a Hospital Doctor) and personal possessions of the deceased. The Hospital may also issue a 'Release Form', which needs to be signed by the next of kin, releasing the deceased into our care. When you are ready you can call us to make the arrangements and collect your loved one from the hospital.

Our Local hospitals are:

  • Swindon Great Western Hospital Bereavement Office
    Opening times Monday-Friday 10.00am-4.00pm Contact Tel: 01793 604392 or 01793 604393
  • Bath Royal United Hospital Bereavement Office
    Opening Times Monday - Friday 0830 - 16.30 Contact Tel: 01225 824015 or 01225 824315

When the death occurs at Home

If the death was expected, as the deceased had been ill for some time, it would be normal to contact their Doctor or the out of hours Doctor who would then visit to certify that death had occurred and determine the cause of death. This may not happen immediately as the Doctor may be in his/her surgery or the death may happen in the middle of the night. The Doctor will issue the relatives a form called the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. This form contains a list of who can register the death. This form should be available at the surgery within 24 hours of the death.

Once a doctor has attended please contact us and we will be able to provide guidance and support and will, if so desired, attend to remove the deceased to our Private Chapel of Rest. We offer a 24-hour service.