Registering a death

Bereavement Centre

When someone dies in hospital, a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) will be issued. This is needed so that the death is registered before a funeral can take place.

An appointment needs to be made with the Registry Office covering the London Borough where the death occurred (Lambeth for St Thomas’ Hospital, and Southwark for Guy’s Hospital).

There is a recommendation that deaths are registered within 5 days. Sometimes this is not always possible and the Registry Office will allow extra time.

If the death has been, or needs to be, reported to the Coroner, you should wait until you hear from the Coroner’s Office and, or, the Bereavement Centre before booking an appointment with the Registry Office.

The person registering a death at the Registry Office must be either:

  • a blood relative
  • someone who was present at the time of death
  • someone with the relevant authority, for example, a nominated representative or executor (a person or institution that is nominated to carry out the terms of the person’s will)
  • a person causing the person to be buried or cremated, for example a hospital representative when there is no one else to make arrangements

The person registering the death is usually taken to be the person responsible for arranging the funeral. They will need to provide the following information about the deceased:

  • MCCD (this is will be sent electronically on your behalf)
  • full name (and maiden name where appropriate)
  • date and place of birth
  • occupation
  • name, date of birth and occupation of any surviving spouse
  • usual permanent address
  • details of any war pensions
  • medical card, if you have it (the registrar will keep this)

The registrar will explain the Tell us Once service when you register the death. This means that information about the death can be passed on to the relevant Government departments and local authority services for you. Please inform the registrar if you wish to make use of the Tell us Once service.

After registering the death, the registrar will send you:

The death certificate

The Registry Office will charge a fee for this and for any extra copies you may need for banks or insurance companies. It is a good idea to buy as many copies at the time of registration to cover your needs. You can ask for additional death certificates at a later date but there will be another charge.

The green form

This is the certificate that needs to be given to your funeral director so that a burial or cremation can be arranged. If you give the Registrar your funeral director’s email address, they can also send this directly to them.

Contact us

Bereavement Centres
Open Monday to Friday, 8am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 4pm.

Guy’s Hospital
Floor 14
Tower Wing
call 020 7188 3215

St Thomas’ Hospital
2nd floor, Block B
South Wing
call 020 7188 3198 or 020 7188 3182 or 020 7188 8965

Medical Examiner Office
Open Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm

St Thomas's Hospital
2nd floor, Block B
South Wing
call 020 7188 9450
email [email protected]

Spiritual care team
Guy's Hospital, call 020 7188 1185
St Thomas' Hospital call 020 7188 1187

Open Monday to Friday, 8am to 3pm
Guy’s Hospital, call 020 7188 3931
St Thomas’ Hospital call 020 7188 3928

Registering a death that occurs at Guy’s Hospital
Southwark Registry Office
34 Peckham Road
call 020 7525 7651
Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm

Registering a death that occurs at St Thomas’ Hospital
Lambeth Registry Office
Brixton Town Hall
Brixton Hill
call 020 7926 9420
Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm

Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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