In Times of Bereavement

The death of a loved one can be a huge shock which can turn your world upside down and we know that many of our patients need additional support and information to help them cope at this time. If you are struggling mentally or physically due to bereavement then there are many avenues of help, including seeking advice or support from us, your GP practice

There is no ‘one-size fits all’ approach to bereavement and you may be experiencing thoughts and feelings that are difficult to process and which make it hard to cope with daily life. Help is available from a variety of sources including national charities and specialist support groups. 

If you want more information about bereavement support, both nationally and this area, then you may find the following advice and websites a useful starting point. 

Please do seek help, either from us or through specialist counselling services or support groups as soon as possible. Please don’t suffer in silence. 


In the unfortunate event that a person has passed away, there are three things that must be done in the first few days;

  • Get a medical certificate from your GP or hospital doctor (this is necessary to register the death)
  • Register the death within 5 days (8 days in Scotland). You will then receive the necessary documents for the funeral.
  • Make the necessary funeral arrangements.

in times of bereavement


Register the death

If the death has been reported to the coroner (or Procurator Fiscal in Scotland) they must give permission before registering the death.

You can register the death if you are a relative, a witness to the death, a hospital administrator or the person making the arrangements with the funeral directors.

You can use the ‘Register a Death’ page on the website that will guide you through the process. This will also explain the registration process for Scotland and Northern Ireland.


Arrange the funeral

The funeral can usually only take place after the death is registered. Most people use a funeral director, though you can arrange a funeral yourself.


Funeral directors

Choose a funeral director who’s a member of one of the following:

These organisations have codes of practice - they must give you a price list when asked.

Some local councils run their own funeral services, for example for non-religious burials. The British Humanist Association can also help with non-religious funerals.


Arranging the funeral yourself

Contact the Cemeteries and Crematorium Department of your local council to arrange a funeral yourself.


Funeral costs

Funeral costs can include:

  • funeral director fees
  • things the funeral director pays for on your behalf (called ‘disbursements’ or ‘third-party costs’), for example, crematorium or cemetery fees, or a newspaper announcement about the death
  • local authority burial or cremation fees

Funeral directors may list all these costs in their quotes.

For free independent advice on bereavement issues, you can find more information at


Bereavement Support

National organisations

Local organisations

Specialist organisations