What To Do When Someone Dies

Losing someone close to you can be very difficult. The tabs below has been designed to guide you through the first 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 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 the passing has been verified, and you are ready for us to attend, please call us on 01733 347474.

We will attend as soon as possible and most likely within an hour. However, 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 and guide you through the next steps and to answer any questions that you may have.

Family may not always be present when a bereavement takes place in these care facilities. If this is the case, the care team will contact you to inform you of the passing before we are contacted.


Hospice / Nursing Home Bereavement:

If you have pre-instructed the Hospice or Nursing Home that we are the chosen Family Funeral Directors they will contact us and we will attend as soon as possible. If you had not pre instructed the Hospice or Nursing Home they will ask for you to confirm the nominated Funeral Directors.

Should you wish to spend some time with your loved one before they are transferred into our care form the Hospice/ Nursing Home, we can liaise with the care staff to arrive at a preferred time.

If family are present when we attend, we will be happy to discuss and guide you through the next steps and support you with any questions that you may have.


Hospital Bereavement:

For a death that occurs in the hospital the Bereavement Team will be in contact with you and request your selected funeral directors details. The Bereavement Team will arrange for the Medical Certificate Cause of Death to be completed by the certifying General Practitioner (GP), to allow you to register the death. This will be sent via email to the hospital’s local district Registrar’s, which will allow you to make an appointment to register the death.

Once we are appointed by you, we will liaise with the Bereavement Team and arrange, to transfer your loved one into our care as soon as it 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.


Local Hospital’s Bereavement Contact Details:

  • Peterborough City Hospital Bereavement Team: 01733 673543 
  • Addenbrookes Hospital Bereavement Team: 01223 217537 
  • Kettering General Hospital Bereavement Team 01536 491541 
  • Leicester Royal Infirmary Bereavement Team 0116 258 5194 
  • Northampton General Hospital Bereavement Team 01604 523489
  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital Kings Lynn 01553 613878


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.

Following a bereavement the Medical Certificate Cause of Death will be sent to the Registrars (via email), by the certifying General Practitioner(GP). You will need to telephone the registration service to book an appointment to register the death.

The local district Registration office details are below:

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


From 25th March 2022, registrations need to be completed face-to-face, and cannot be registered over the telephone.


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 the following information:

      • 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 ask you how many copies of the Certified Copies of an Entry (Death Certificates) you will require. These are charged at £11:00 per copy. You will also receive a 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. In urgent cases or should you request the Registrar, will give this certificate to you, to hand on to us direct.

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.

Have questions? Get in touch with our team

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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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