When a death occurs on a ward, relatives will be given the Trust booklet entitled ‘What Happens Now - Information for Bereaved Relatives'. This booklet is an easy guide to what happens next and who you have to contact for information regarding deceased loved ones. Call the Patient Bereavement Service Office after midday and they will be able to assist you.
Please be aware that the certificate can take up to three working days to produce. This is because the completion of the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death, must be completed by a doctor who has been directly involved in the care of the deceased. Therefore, there may be a delay in the completion of the certificate, dependent on the availability of the doctor involved. The team will do all they can to ensure this is completed as soon as possible for you.
If your loved one passed away whilst in the Emergency Department (A&E) they will be referred to the coroner automatically and the team will provide you with information to explain this.
Once you have received the certificate you will need to register the death and further details can be found on page 5 about this. However we recommend that you do not make an appointment with the registrar until you have.
- Advise if a death is referred to the Coroner for a post mortem
- Provide you with a medical certificate of cause of death
- Advise you on how to register the death
- Return any personal belongings left at the hospital
- Advise you what to do next
If you are not a relative, you should bring with you proof of your identity and letter of authority signed by the nearest relative of the deceased.
We fully appreciate that some families wish to see their loved on as soon as possible after death, however, it is not always possible to facilitate this.
If you wish to view the deceased in the Chapel of Rest. the team will do all they can to make you as comfortable as possible during this time, and we ask that you do not attend the hospital without making prior arrangements for viewing.
Please note that the mortuary team require the permission from the deceased’s next of kin for other family members or friends to attend a viewing.
To arrange an appointment please call the following number between 10am and 3pm. The mortuary is not open during weekends and bank holidays. Telephone: 01322 428428.
The time ahead may be a very difficult one for you and at Darent Valley Hospital, the Patient Bereavement Services work very closely with the Chaplaincy Team who can provide appropriate spiritual and pastoral care.
Friendship group: the Darent Valley Hospital Friendship Group, is a group set up as a meeting place to have a chat, everyone is welcome, nothing formal. For further information please contact 01322 428392 and arrangements will be made for Joan to meet with you.
Please note the trust is independent of any funeral service provider.