When a death occurs

Our staff are available 24 hours a day for assistance

at home

When a death occurs at home it is necessary to contact the Doctor of the deceased or the out of hours service, so that the Doctor can attend and confirm the death. If the person passes away in a Nursing Home or a Hospice the staff at the home will contact the on call Doctor to certify the death on your behalf.

Once the Doctor has confirmed the death a ‘Confirmatory Medical Certificate’ will be issued. If the person passes away out of normal surgery hours, it is possible that an on call Doctor will attend. If this is the case a letter will be given to the next of kin, attesting that the death has been confirmed. The ‘Confirmatory Medical Certificate’ will then need to be collected from the Doctor’s Surgery when it is ready.

in hospital

When a death occurs in a Hospital, you may have to wait for the administrative staff to advise you when the “Medical Certificate of Cause of Death” is ready to be collected.

After the attending Doctor has confirmed the death, the Funeral Directors will take the deceased into their care and bring them to the Chapel of Rest.


When a death is unexpected, and the cause of death is uncertain, the attending Doctor must contact the Cornwall Coroner’s office. This is a formality. The Coroner will then investigate the cause of death further. Once the Coroner has been informed, the Coroner’s office will arrange for the deceased to be taken to a local hospital. This may sometimes result in an examination to determine the exact cause of death.

If the Coroner is involved the funeral may be delayed until investigations are completed. The Cornwall Coroner’s officer will liaise directly with the next of kin, who will be informed of the necessary procedures.