Newcastle Medical Centre
In Times of Bereavement 
When someone dies

In the unfortunate event that a person has passed away there are a number of things that must be carried out withing the first three days following the death

  • Get a medical certificate from your GP or hospital doctor (this is necessary for you to register the death)
  • Register the death within 5 days or 8 days in Scotland. You will then receive the necessary documents/paperwork for the funeral.
  • Make the necessary funeral arrangements.

Registering a death 

If the death has been reported to the coroner or Procurator Fiscal in Scotland they must give their  permission before registering the death.

You can register the death if you are a relative, a witness to the death, a hospital administrator or the person making the arrangements with the funeral directors.

You can use the Register a Death page on the website that will guide you through the process.   There is a seperate section for deaths in Scotland, Wales and Ireland. 

Arrange the funeral

The funeral can usually only take place after the death is registered. Most people use a funeral director to help arrange the funeral although you can arrange a funeral yourself.

Funeral directors

There are many funeral directors out there but be sure to choose a one who is a member of any of the following:

  • National Association of Funeral Directors
  • National Federation of Funeral Directors
  • Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors

These organisations have codes of practice and they must give you a price list when asked.  This is important as funderals can be costly. 

Some local councils run their own funeral services. If you are not religious and want a non-religious funeral/burial. The British Humanist Association may be able to assist with this.

Arranging the funeral yourself
Contact the Cemeteries and Crematorium Department of your local council to arrange a funeral yourself. 

Funeral costs

Funeral costs can include:

  • funeral director fees
  • things the funeral director pays for on your behalf (called 'disbursements' or 'third-party costs'), for example, crematorium or cemetery fees, or a newspaper announcement about the death
  • local authority burial or cremation fees
Funeral directors may list all these costs in their quotes.  If you are unsure of what costs are included in their fees do not be afraid to speak up as they will be advise you of a breakdown or extra charges. 

Bereavement support

Bereavement support is available so do not feel like you have to deal with this on your own.  You can arrange an appointment to speak to your GP or seek advise from the following:

Curse Bereavement Support


If you have suffered the loss of a small child or baby then you can seek support from the above services aswell as the Lullaby Trust.
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