BEREAVEMENT SERVICES

Please accept the condolences and sympathy of UHCW NHS Trust for your loss. We understand that there will be a lot for you and your family to deal with at this difficult time.

You will find that there are a lot of practical matters you will need to deal with following bereavement and we hope the information provided will be of help.

Before you leave the hospital, be sure to ask a staff member for the appropriate information regarding what you need to do next.

You may also find it helpful to take any property your loved one had with them in order to avoid a return journey to the hospital.

We appreciate the importance of being able to help you say goodbye to a loved one. The hospital’s Bereavement Services team will be happy to help you book a slot for viewing loved ones at the UHCW’s Chapel of Rest.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of viewings has been reduced to two a day for 15 minutes and only two members of the family are able to attend.

We do ask if possible could you wait to see your loved one at the funeral home of your choice.

If you strongly feel you need to see your loved one at the hospital, we do ask that, prior to coming, you take a lateral flow test which should be negative. Face masks and hand sanitiser will be provided.

Please note: We are not able to offer viewings for your loved one if they have been diagnosed as being Covid-19 positive.

We understand how distressing this time can be and we are here to support you as much as possible.

We would encourage you to contact a funeral director as soon as possible. They will discuss funeral arrangements with you and arrange for your relative or friend to be transferred into their care.

There may be some circumstances where we need to relocate your loved one to an off-site mortuary, for example because a funeral director is unable to collect them. We will keep you fully informed of any movement plans.

A medical death certificate is required before the death can be registered. Once the medical cause of death certificate is ready, we will notify you. We will then send a copy direct to Coventry Register office.

The Register Office will then contact you by telephone in order for you to be able to complete the death registration.

Please note that all calls from Bereavement Services and Coventry Register Office will show on your telephone as either unknown or withheld.

Collecting a Death Certificate

When a death occurs in the hospital, a ‘Medical Certificate of Cause of Death’ (or ‘certificate’) can usually be issued by the doctor. If the Coroner is involved, the bereavement office will contact you as soon as a decision has been reached by the Coroner authorising us to issue a Cause of Death Certificate.

Please telephone Bereavement Services after 9.30am on the next working weekday after the death to enquire when the certificate will be ready. In most cases, the hospital will be able to give you the certificate within 48 hours of your phone call.

Post mortems

Occasionally, a doctor may ask for a hospital post mortem examination to be carried out in order to understand more clearly what happened and to clarify the cause of death.

If the doctor wishes to carry out a post mortem, they must ask for your permission and explain fully what you are being asked for, before asking you to sign a consent form. If this should be the case, someone will talk to you about it, usually before you leave the hospital.

The other instance when a post mortem may be required is if the Coroner has had to be involved, for example when the death has happened unexpectedly, or the cause of death is unknown. If the Coroner’s office is involved in the death, all questions should be directed to the Coroner’s Office on 02476 833345 until a decision is made.

If you have any worries at all about the cost of the funeral, please ask for advice before making arrangements. The Bereavement Services Department at the hospital, the hospital Social Worker, the Funeral Directors or your own Benefit Office will be able to advise you.

It is important to seek a solicitor’s advice over any question about a will, or about the estate of the person who has died.

It is also vital to make sure the Department of Social Security, together with any insurance companies, banks and building societies, know what has happened. The Registrar will give advice on notifying them and can issue extra copies of the registration of death for a small fee.

There are many people, in the hospital and outside, who can give careful advice and sensitive support, not only now but as time goes on.

You may already have met a Chaplain or Social Worker. These support services are available to meet you again in the immediate future or later if there is anything you need or if there is something you are worried about.

There will also be other peoples who are able to provide support and advice, including the Funeral Director, the minister or celebrant conducting the funeral, your own family doctor or the below support groups.

Compassionate Communities (Coventry & Rugby). Click here to email or call 02476 965131.
Cruse Bereavement Support
The Good Grief Trust
Age UK

Our Bereavement Services team are located in the Faith Centre at on the ground floor at University Hospital, Coventry.

Our opening times are 9.30am-4pm Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays.

Please telephone us on 02476 965834, 02476 965835, 02476 965838 or email paul.holmes@uhcw.nhs.uk or Ann-Marie.Hayles@uhcw.nhs.uk