Death In Professional Care

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What To Do When Someone Dies In Professional Care

When someone dies in professional care whether that be in a care home or hospital, it can be a difficult time for all those involved which is why we’ve created this guide to help you through the process.

What do you do when someone dies in a care home?

If your loved one passes away while being cared for in a care home, the on-site staff will know what to do and the processes that must be followed. If you are not present when your loved one passes away, care home staff will notify you as soon as possible after their death.

If the death was expected, either yourself or the care home staff will need to call their Doctor (G.P) and in most instances when someone dies in a care home and it is expected by those closest to them, the GP will issue a Medical Certificate for the cause of death.

When a loved one passes away unexpectedly, the GP or care home staff will contact the Coroner to carry out an Inquest. When the death is unexpected, you won’t be able to register the death until the coroner has confirmed the cause of death which may lead to a delay in the funeral, but your funeral planner will be able to guide you through this process.

What do you do when someone dies in hospital?

When a loved one has unfortunately passed away in hospital, the next of kin or closest family members will be informed immediately. Many hospitals in the UK have staff specialising in bereavement matters who are able to explain procedures and next steps to you, otherwise, this may be done by the ward staff. If a loved one has died in the hospital, they will be kept in the hospital mortuary until you can arrange for your chosen funeral director, or family, to collect them.

If the death was expected, a doctor from the hospital issue a Medical Certificate for the cause of death. Your funeral director will then be able to advise you on registering a death and what the next steps will be.

If the death in the hospital was unexpected, there is a possibility the death will be followed by a coroner’s inquest (determine how, when and where the person died). When the death is unexpected, you won’t be able to register the death until the coroner has confirmed the cause of death which may lead to a delay in the funeral, but your funeral planner will be able to guide you through this process.

What else do you need to think about?

When someone has died in a care home, hospital or other professional care facility and the cause of death has been confirmed by a GP or coroner, you will then need to register their death. You must register a death within five days if you are in England, Wales or Northern Ireland and within eight days if you are in Scotland. Once the death has been registered, you will receive a Certificate for Burial or Cremation and the next steps will be guided by your funeral director.

How Can A.H. Freemantle Help?

Whether you would simply like advice for when someone dies in a professional care facility, or a director to administer all the arrangements on your behalf, at A H Freemantle we have the experience and expertise to guide you through this difficult time. Established in 1856, we are an independent family run firm, owned and managed by John Freemantle.

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Over 100 Testimonials and Reviews

Having had experience with this company earlier in the year they were the natural choice when my wife died. Clair was absolutely brilliant from the initial enquiry and compassionately and clearly explained the whole process. Nothing was too much trouble and the whole range of options clearly laid out and explained. We really didn’t have to do anything ourselves. I would gladly recommend when the the time comes to anyone else.


I would like to thank both James and Jane for the courtesy and respect shown to me and my family. They appreciated the tragic circumstances and were able to guide us gently through the Church service and subsequent committal at Wessex. You were as a company stars that day, showing us the way.

Brian Stoker

James and the team at A H Freemantle did the most fantastic job for us when my brother died suddenly and unexpectedly. They were very clear about the things I had to make a decision on - not there and then but in my own time - but they also completely took over and seamlessly managed all those other things that have to be booked and paid for. They also gave me great advice about how to handle the things I needed to handle. They contributed hugely to giving my brother the send off that he deserved and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend A H Freemantle to anyone else when that time comes and you need a funeral director.

Kevin Briscoe

I can’t praise Claire at the Botley branch enough, who looked after my husband’s funeral. She was very professional, but more than that she was kind, caring, and nothing was too much trouble. Going above and beyond, which made this very difficult time so much more bearable for my family and I.

Nicola Abbott

Extremely kind & considerate. Very professional. I felt supported throughout a very difficult process. Jane was fantastic, sensitive and caring and made me feel that she truly understood and cared about us all.

Jill Spence

Although my review is simplistic it comes from the heart. Without A H Freemantle's Park Gate & Titchfield offices I could never have got through what was and always will be my darkest hour. Thank you for looking after my beautiful mother, Gwen. Special thanks to Jane and Dawn. And thank you Jane for recommending the wonderful Rev. Boggust. My brothers, sister, and myself will always remember the kindness, respect, and compassion shown by all at A H Freemantle.

Eleanor Campbell-Loveday

James was incredibly understanding and dealt with a difficult situation with care and attention. Nothing was too much trouble.

Tim Quinlan

James and his team were extremely kind, thoughtful ad professional. As a family we appreciated the help and advice that was given.


Sarah's kindness, genuine warmth, understanding of the personal character of how people say goodbye to a loved one, and inclusive approach, together with her knowledge and professionalism made me feel 'held' throughout the process of organising and being at my mum's funeral. It made such a difference at a difficult time. Highly recommend this company to anyone.


James and the team really are who you need by your side when you are facing your most challenging times in life. I've been in need of the services of A H Freemantle twice in a year having lost both my mother and father. Honestly I couldn't recommend them enough, at such a challenging time they really did do everything to make it as bearable as possible. I can not recommend James and the team enough, they were truly incredible from start to finish.


From my first phone call to the completion of the funeral the staff at A H Freemantle gave outstanding service. They were professional and compassionate, taking time to listen to our requests and discuss the options. They made a difficult time easier and I knew I could trust them absolutely with the arrangements.