Registration of deaths

On this page

  • Verification of expected death in nursing homes – policy & process
  • Verification of death in times of emergency – Government guidance
  • Information to be supplied to the Registrar when registering a death – LCC update
  • Changes to death and cremation regulations – flow chart
  • Updated Regulation 16 (death notification) form – CQC update
  • Advice from the West Yorkshire Coroner

Verification of expected death during Covid-19 – standardised policy for nursing homes – updated 26 May 2020

A standardised process to ensure that residents and their families can be cared for with the same dignity, respect and continuity in death as they received in life.

Verification of expected death - standardised policy

Verification of expected death - process

Coronavirus (COVID-19): verification of death in times of emergency – 5 May 2020

Clarifying existing practice for verifying deaths outside of hospitals and providing a framework for safe verification of death during the coronavirus emergency

Verifying deaths outside of hospitals

New process for death registration – updated 1 May 2020

The death registration process has changed to prevent face to face contact.

Please help avoid delays and confusion by taking the following steps.

1. Email cause of death certificates direct to registrars

Medical Certificates of Cause of Death should be emailed to the register office, along with the next of kin’s contact details.

How to complete & email cause of death certificates

2. Tell the family about registering a death by phone

The next of kin (or informant) should wait for a call from the registrar to register the death. This is usually within 3 days of the registrar receiving the cause of death certificate.

Guidance to family for registering a death


Changes to death and cremation regulations – flow chart

Updated Friday 24 April 2020

Dr Lucy Clement, GP, Oakwood Lane Medical Practice has created slides to illustrate the new processes in place following changes to death and cremation regulations.


Updated Regulation 16 (death notification) form – CQC update

15 April 2020

We have been hearing feedback that an article we published advising on an update to our notification of deaths online form, has been a source of some anxiety to some practices. Please be assured that our position with regards to notifications of deaths has not changed and we do not require practices to notify us of all suspected or confirmed COVID-19 related deaths. Instead, practices should continue to notify us of deaths as they would do under normal circumstances.

We have now updated our online notification of deaths form so that practices notifying us of any death that meets the above criteria are able to indicate whether that death was the result of either suspected or confirmed coronavirus at the same time. This information will help us to work with system partners to mobilise the right level of support and to inform the government response.

Further guidance on notifications to CQC during the coronavirus outbreak is available via our website in our recently published edition of Nigel’s Surgery: Responding to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Advice from the West Yorkshire Coroner

Further update from West Yorkshire Senior Coroner sent to Dr Raj Sathiyaseelan, LMC Medical Secretary

Updated 16 April 2020 to clarify the position on consultation methods

In the difficult circumstances prevailing during the coronavirus pandemic, the measures suggested by your GPs appear to me to be understandable and proportionate.  I have no objection to the suggestion to reduce infection risks and speed up reporting and authorising procedures that video links will be used to complete cremation forms, provided that any suspicious or unusual aspects would trigger a reversion to the previous procedures.  I would expect this arrangement to cease once the current emergency has passed.

In the hope it avoids unnecessary reporting of deaths to the Coroner let me also emphasise that deaths attributable to Covid 19 are not reportable to the Coroner as they are regarded as a natural cause of death, notwithstanding that they are reportable to Public Health England.

It may help your members to know that I have adjourned all inquest hearings until 5 June (and will review the position again nearer that date).  This means that no clinicians will be called to attend court over coming weeks.   We are endeavouring to continue opening Inquests so that bodies can be released for funeral where appropriate.  We will also hear inquests where the evidence can be admitted in documentary form and the family have indicated they do not wish to attend the hearing.

Would you agree that a video consultation with a patient before their death is sufficient to count as seeing the patient prior to death? Yes I would regard a video consultation as sufficient.  Similarly, if a GP’s advanced nurse practitioner had seen a patient in the course of treatment for a chronic condition, then their entry in the medical records may well constitute a consultation by the GP’s team for current purposes.