How do I register a death?
There is a requirement to register the death within 5 days. On occasions the GP may not be available straightaway due to other commitments, holidays or because many of our GPs work part-time and are not in the surgery every day. This will result in a delay in obtaining the MCCD, as strict regulations stipulate which GPs may sign it. If this means waiting more than 5 days from the death, the surgery may contact the Coroner’s Office for advice. Our experience is that this rarely causes problems and the Coroner’s Office will usually advise for the registration to go ahead once the MCCD is ready. You may wish to contact the Registrar at County Hall to inform them of the delay and reassure yourself of this.
Issuing a death certificate
The Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD or ‘death certificate’) will be issued by the GP involved in your loved one’s care. The GP may need to visit the deceased at the funeral home prior to issuing the MCCD. This will be done as soon as we can – but may not always be the same day as we are informed of the death, due to our existing clinical commitments. For this reason, we ask you to bear with us and not expect the MCCD to be provided immediately. We would suggest making your appointment to register the death once you know when the MCCD is likely to be issued. It would be very helpful if you could contact our reception staff and leave your telephone number so that they can contact you when the MCCD is ready to collect.
Appointments can be booked with the Registrar at County Hall either by telephone 01609 780780 or preferably online.
What if I need to arrange a cremation?
If your loved one is to be cremated, there are extra forms for the GP to complete and it is helpful for us to know this as soon as possible. Part of the Cremation Form requires us to discuss the medical treatment and cause of death with an independent doctor (usually a GP from a different medical practice) who will then go on to make their own enquiries about the death. The independent GP may wish to speak to you about the care your loved one received leading up to their death. This is nothing to worry about and is part of their routine enquiries.
It is rare for us to need to report a death to the Coroner. We would certainly let you know if this was to happen and explain the process to you.