What To Do When Someone Dies

Losing someone close to you can be a very difficult time in your life, this page has been designed to guide you through the next steps following a bereavement. Our experienced team are here to compassionately advise and support you through the journey ahead, if you have any questions or need immediate assistance please call 01733 347474.

If the death has occurred at home and the death was expected, please contact the deceased’s Doctors’ Surgery and one of the on call Doctors will attend to verify the death. (In certain cases, the Doctor will not attend and this could be where a care professional such as one of the Hospice At Home team have been in attendance, and they understand that the death was expected and does not need a Coroner’s referral).

Once this has happened, and you are ready, call us on 01733 347474 so that we can attend.

We will do this is soon as as possible.

Should you wish to spend some more time with your loved one, you can let us know and we will arrange a convenient time to attend.

When we attend, we will be happy to discuss any questions that you may have regarding the options for the funeral service and we will guide you through the next steps.

Later in the day, or as soon as is possible, one of the Doctors from the group practice will issue the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. This will be sent via email to the Registrars and will allow you to make an appointment to register the death.

For death that occurs in these establishments, family may not always be present. If this is the case the care team will contact you to inform you of the death.

If you have pre-instructed the Hospice or Nursing Home that we will be attending they will confirm that and then contact us and we will attend as soon as is possible.

If you have not pre instructed the Hospice or Nursing Home they may wish you to contact us on 01733 347474 to give us permission to attend.

Should you wish to spend some time with your loved one, you can let us know and we will arrange a convenient later time to attend.

When we attend, we will be happy to discuss any questions that you may have regarding the options for the funeral service and we will guide you through the next steps.

For a death that occurs in the hospital the Bereavement Team will be in contact with you and request your selected funeral directors details.

Once we are appointed by you, we will liaise with the Bereavement Team and arrange, after the registration, to bring your loved one back into our care as soon as is possible. Hospitals have set times that we can attend so this may not be on the same day. This does not stop you from discussing any questions that you may have regarding the options for the funeral service and we will guide you through the next steps.

The Doctor responsible for the deceased will issue the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death to allow you to register the death. This will be sent via email to the Registrars and will allow you to make an appointment to register the death.

Contact the deceased’s doctor’s surgery and confirm that the Medical Certificate Cause of Death has been sent to the Registrars. This will be sent via email by the Doctors’ surgery.

Contact the Bereavement office at Peterborough City Hospital 01733 673543 and confirm that the Medical Certificate Cause of Death has been sent to the Registrars.

If this has been sent, please then telephone the registration service on:

  • Peterborough Registration Service: 01733 864646
  • Fenland & Huntingdon Registration Service: 0345 045 1363
  • Bourne & Stamford Registration Service: 01522 782244

The Registrar will then either make an appointment for you to register the death or deal with the registration at this point. During this time the Registrar will guide you.

It is usual for a relative to Register a death but if there are no relatives it is possible for someone else to register, such as:

  • a person present at the death.
  • the person responsible for arranging and paying for the funeral.

During this difficult time for so many families the Registration Service has adapted its procedure to allow for the registration of a death to occur remotely, thus avoiding unnecessary journeys.

Your telephone appointment will generally last for 45 minutes. It is useful to have access to the deceased’s birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable) and NHS medical card.

The Registrar will ask for:

  • date and place of death.
  • full name of the deceased, including maiden name where appropriate.
  • the deceased’s date and place of birth.
  • the deceased’s occupation, where appropriate.
  • if the deceased was married/widowed, the full names and occupation of the spouse.
  • the deceased’s usual address.
  • the date of birth of the spouse, if the deceased was married.
  • if the deceased had been receiving any pensions from public funds.

Once completed the Registrar will arrange for the finance department (via a separate telephone call) to take payment for the Certified Copies of an Entry (Death Certificates). These are charged at £11:00 per copy and these will be posted to you along with the Web-Link and Code for the Tell Us Once service which helps you notify government departments and local council services of the death. This is a free service.

The Registrar’s Certificate for Burial or Cremation (Green Certificate) will be sent directly to us by the registrar. Please do allow up to 48 hours for us to receive this.

If for any reason you are unable to access the internet, please do explain this to the registrar and they will assist you in the above.

Once you have booked your appointment or completed the registration, you will then need to book an appointment with us to start making the funeral arrangements, if you have not done so already. You can do this by contacting Smiths Funeral Directors on 01733 347474 or by clicking here.

During this difficult time for so many families the Registration Service has adapted its procedure to allow for the registration of a death to occur remotely, thus avoiding unnecessary journeys.

Should you need any further explanation we are of course available to guide you through the procedure.

Have questions? Get in touch with our team

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Testimonials

As a church organist, I have had a lot of dealings with funeral directors. I can honestly say that Smiths are the best I have encountered - when it came to my mum's funeral, they were absolutely terrific. Everything was done with not only tact and sensitivity, but also perfect efficiency. I would add that their charges are very reasonable. Heartfelt gratitude to them.

David Pattrick

On behalf of my family I just want to say a big thankyou to Smiths Funeral Directors. They made a very difficult task a lot easier. Arrangements were easy and we felt very comforted. We were kept informed every step of the way.

The day itself was handled professionally and personally. I could not give a higher recommendation.

A friendly well organised local family business that definitely know their business. Thank you to all your staff.

Simon Husbands

At every stage of what was a real difficult time, Ian, Ruth and their team gave us magnificent advice and support. Our family could not have wished for better service. Thank you.

Bruce Ferguson
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