If your loved one passes away at home

What happens after a death at home will depend on whether the death was expected or not

If the death was expected

If the death was expected, for example if your loved one had a terminal illness, you should call their GP surgery as soon as possible so that a doctor can issue a medical certificate (please see below).

If your loved one passes away outside of usual GP working hours, please call 111 and a medical professional will attend your home address.

When the one that you have lost has been seen by the doctor / medical professional, please call Barringons on 01279 860055 (night or day) and we will make arrangements to bring your loved one safely into our care until you are ready to talk about what happens next.

Understandably, some families prefer that the Funeral Directors arrive at the earliest opportunity to bring your loved one into our care. Other families may choose to use this peaceful time to be with the one they have lost in their own home for one last time, which can feel like a special ‘moment in time’ that does not need to be rushed. It is very much a personal choice, and only you will know what feels right for you.

If the death was unexpected

If someone dies unexpectedly, you should call the emergency services immediately on 999. Describe the circumstances to the operator, who will give clear instructions on what to do next. Depending on the circumstances, they may send an ambulance and/or police

If the cause of death is unclear, paramedics will usually call for a Coroners Officer to attend. Arrangements will then be made for your loved one to be taken to the mortuary, usually at the local hospital

The police may wish to examine the place where the death took place. It is often not immediately obvious whether someone has died due to natural causes or as a result of an accident or a criminal act.  If this is the case:

  • Do not disturb the surrounding area, other than what is essential in trying to help the person
  • If it’s clear that the person has died, do not touch anything

Once the police arrive, they can give further information on how the area should be treated and the Coroners Officer will arrange for your loved one to be collected and brought safely into their care. This will be at the soonest available time, so long as a medical practitioner has confirmed the death


When a Coroner is involved, it is quite usual for a local Funeral Director to have the ‘Coroners Contract’. Their role is to simply transport your loved one safely to the relevant hospital, without identifying which company they represent, ahead of further investigations or a post-mortem

Please know that you are still free to choose ANY Funeral Director to take care of your loved ones funeral, there is no obligation or expectation to use the same company that attended

When you have researched and decided which Funeral Director to use, simply advise the Coroners Office. Once investigations are concluded, they will liaise directly with your chosen Funeral Director (Barringtons) who will then make the arrangements to bring your loved one into their (our) care

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