Following the death of a loved one

There are many things you will need to do over the next few days and weeks. This information is intended to give you some guidance during this difficult time. We will be pleased to provide any assistance that we can.

The certificate of Cause of Death

You are required to telephone the appropriate persons as below, if the death occurred at one of the Hospitals below:

Morriston Hospital, Tel: 01792 702222, requesting to speak to the patient affairs manager.
Singleton Hospital, Tel: 01792 205666, requesting to speak to the patient affairs officer.
Princess of Wales Hospital, Tel: 01656 752752, requesting to speak to the bereavement officer.

If the death occurred at home without the coroners involvement, you should contact the deceased’s General Practitioner.

Other locations such as cottage hospitals, nursing homes and care homes, you should ask to speak to the ward sister or nurse in charge.

When contacting any of the above you should have the following information to hand.

  • Contact telephone number – to inform you when the certificate is ready.
  • Whether a cremation or burial is to take place. This will enable the preparation of all relevant paperwork.
  • The name of Funeral Director that you wish to use.

It is requested that you do not attend any of the locations until you have been advised, by staff, that the certificates are completed and ready for collection.

Registering the death.

This is a legal requirement.

Once you have been notified that the certificate of cause of death is available. It is then possible to contact the registrar’s office to formally register the death.

Neath, Tel: 01639 760021
Swansea, Tel: 01792 636188
Carmarthenshire, Tel: 01269 598300

When attending the registrar’s office, you will need to take the deceased’s

  • Certificate of cause of death
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate
  • Medical card

If you are unable to find any of these documents, please inform the registrar when making your appointment.

The registrar will require the following information:

  • Full names and surname
  • Maiden name if the deceased was a woman who had married / contracted a civil partnership
  • Date and place of death (town or country if abroad)
  • Occupation (if the deceased was a married man / woman / civil partner or widower/ widow / surviving civil partner the name and occupation of his / her wife / husband / civil partner)
  • Usual address
  • Whether the deceased was in receipt of a pension or allowance from public funds
  • If the deceased was married / civil partner, the date of birth of the surviving widower / widow / civil partner.

When the death is registered the registrar will give you:

  • Certified copies of the certificate of cause of death. These are required for insurance purposes or bank accounts. (There will be a charge for these copies)
  • Green form – to be given to the funeral director, so that the funeral arrangements may go ahead.
  • Certificate of registration of death for social security purposes only complete the questions on the back of the form and send to the relevant social security or pension office.

Speak to the registrar about the new service available called ‘tell us once’ which will notify all government organisations about the death.

Involvement of the Coroner

It is not always possible for medical staff to issue a certificate, as there may be uncertainty about the cause of death. These cases must be referred to the coroner and sometimes a post Mortem is required before a certificate can be issued. However, there are a number of circumstances that must, by law, be reported to the coroner, but this doesn’t always mean that a post Mortem is necessary.

The coroner is an independent officer with statutory responsibility for the legal investigation of some categories of deaths. The doctor who was looking after your relative or friend must discuss the case with the coroner if the death has occurred under some circumstances, (e.g. Unknown cause, accident, industrial disease). If the coroner decides a post Mortem is required, the pathologist will be asked to carry this out and report the findings to the coroner. In these circumstances the pathologist acts for the coroner and is independent of the hospital. Your agreement is not required.

The coroner will issue the medical Certificate of Cause of Death and the Coroner’s Officer will get in touch to let you know when to proceed with the funeral arrangement.