Kings Lynn: 01553 766795 Downham Market: 01366 384182    Wisbech: 01945 461112

When a Death Occurs

At Home – Contact your doctor (or the doctor on call) who will come to your home to certify the death. A Notification of death will be issued, usually from the surgery on the next working day, which must be taken to the registrars. On some occasions if the death was expected and a nurse is present, the doctor will give authority to the nurse to confirm the death. Once the doctor has attended or the nurse has certified, most families then prefer for their loved one to be conveyed to our chapels of rest as soon as possible. This can be arranged by telephoning us at any time of the day or night.

If the death was at home and unexpected, or the doctor has not been in attendance in the last 2 weeks, the death may have to be referred to the coroner.

At a Nursing or Residential Home – Most nursing homes will have asked in advance who your selected funeral director is and in the event of the death of a resident will contact them. If this is not in place at the time of death, the next of kin will be contacted, asking of your preferred funeral director, so conveyance can be arranged to appropriate chapel of rest. The Doctors Surgery can then be contacted to ask for availability of the death notification certificate, which generally is available the next day.

In a Hospital – You will need to contact the bereavement office of the hospital, they usually suggest after 10am, on the following working day. The nursing staff or administrative officer will advise you when the Notification of Death will be available and will arrange an appointment for you to attend their office to collect it.

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HM Coroner

The Coroner – In cases outside of hospital where the deceased has not been attended to by his/her doctor within 14 days of death, or if death occurs suddenly or unexpectedly it will be reported to the coroner. If the doctor cannot issue a death certificate for any reason, the police will be asked to attend and will note all relevant information regarding the death. Once all of the information has been collected the coroner’s duty funeral director will be asked to convey the deceased to the hospital.

A J Coggles is currently employed as the coroner’s funeral director, for the Downham Market and district area. If it is the families wish for us to carry on with further arrangements, we would be grateful if you could instruct us at the earliest convenience, so that we can keep you advised and informed with proceedings. The coroner will have to establish the cause of death; this is normally done by a post mortem procedure. The deceased will remain under the coroner’s jurisdiction until the cause of death has been established and only then will the coroner release the deceased for the funeral to take place. The coroner’s procedure usually only takes a few days, but in some cases can be longer.

If the coroner can give the cause of death , without the need of an inquest, the coroner will compile a report and send to the registrar, when this has been completed it is then possible for the family to arrange an appointment to see the registrar to register the death.

Inquest – When a death occurs that is due to unnatural causes a coroner’s inquest is necessary. The coroner will open and adjourn to a later date. The coroner will then release the deceased to enable the funeral to take place. The coroner will issue an interim certificate, which can be used for bank or insurance purposes. When the coroner completes the inquest, the death is then registered by the coroner and at that point the family can contact the registrar to obtain any full death certificates that may be required.

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