Covid-19 Information for families
We are extremely sorry for your loss and appreciate this is an incredibly difficult time. The following information is designed to explain the next steps, answer some of your questions and signpost you to extra help and support that is available.
Who we are?
We are here to support you whilst ensuring that practical arrangements are put in place to ensure that your loved one can be treated with dignity and respect, whilst fulfilling certain legal obligations. The Pandemic Multi-Agency Response Team (PMART) will confirm the identity of the individual who has died and will put in place arrangements for a death certificate to be issued. We will then work with you to arrange for a funeral director to take your loved one to a mortuary or funeral parlour.
Contact with the person’s body
We know how distressing this must be for you but, for your own protection once the PMART team has left, there must be no contact with the body of the person who has died due to the risk of infection to others. This includes no washing, preparing or dressing the deceased. It is vital that the person who has died is left as they are, even though this may feel even harder for you.
What happens next
We will prepare the person who has died for collection by a funeral director.
You will have been asked if you have a funeral director that you wish to use. If you do, please contact them to arrange for your loved one to be collected. If not, you can find an industry inspected local funeral director via the following websites;
The National Association of Funeral Directors: funeral-directory.co.uk
The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors: saif.org.uk/members-search
Your loved one will then be taken to a funeral parlour or a mortuary. This may be near your home or a different location in London. Unfortunately, it will not be possible to visit or spend time with your loved one at the mortuary. This is because the mortuaries will be much busier than normal due to the current pandemic and also because of the risk of infection to others.
You can then make arrangements with the funeral director about the final plans for your loved one.
Registering the death
Please DO NOT visit the register office as it will not be possible to collect documents or register the death in person. We will take care of this process to make it easier for you.
A doctor working remotely will receive the information to confirm your loved one’s death. The doctor will either sign a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) or, where the circumstances are not clear, refer to the coroner. The doctor will send the MCCD to the registrar along with your contact details. The register office will contact you by telephone to arrange the registration of the death and arrange for any death certificates to be sent to you by post.
They will also issue the burial or cremation form and forward this electronically to the funeral director so that everything is in place for you to arrange the funeral.
Preparing for the funeral
If you have a nominated funeral director who is collecting your loved one, they will contact you to arrange the funeral.
If you do not have a preferred funeral director we can help you find one who will help you arrange a funeral. Don’t worry if you decide to choose a different funeral director afterwards, the funeral directors will arrange a transfer between them.
We understand that losing a loved one can feel overwhelming, especially if the death was sudden, untimely and unexpected.
There are a number of organisations who can support you and your family during this distressing time.
Find bereavement services from your council at: gov.uk/find-bereavement-services-from-council
Cruse Bereavement Care has online resources on how bereavement and grief may be affected by this pandemic: cruse.org.uk/get-help/coronavirus-dealing-bereavement-and-grief Alternatively, call their free helpline: 0808 808 1677
For facts about the coronavirus and supporting children cruse.org.uk/coronavirus/children-and-young-people
The Compassionate Friends offer support to families after the death of a child of any age and from any cause: tcf.org.uk Alternatively, call: 0345 123 2304
Once again, please accept our sincere condolences for your loss.
Covid-19 Information for families