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How to Get a Medical Certificate

Category: What To Do When Someone Dies

We understand that losing a loved one is a truly overwhelming ordeal to go through, that’s why we’re on hand to help you through everything. Handling grief is a process that is managed differently by each individual.

Planning a funeral for a loved one is a daunting process, not only are you dealing with emotions but also just trying to keep everything ticking over in your day to day life. Unfortunately, when someone dies, there are certain things that need to be carried out. One of these things is getting a medical certificate.

The following post is a step by step guide on how to get a medical certificate so that you can secure the necessary documents in the most efficient way possible.

Let’s start with the basics, you will need a copy of a medical certificate before you can register the death. A medical certificate contains the following:
If the cause of death is clear, or it was from natural causes, it should be a straightforward process to get a medical certificate, as the doctor can determine the cause of death and issue the medical certificate right away.

  • The name of the deceased
  • Their age
  • The place and date of their death
  • The cause of death

However, if the doctor is unsure about the cause of death or hasn’t seen the patient for 14 days (In England, Scotland and Wales) or in the case of Northern Ireland, 28 days you may incur some delays in getting a medical certificate immediately.

In these cases, the death will be reported to a coroner first, if the coroner determines that there is no need to investigate, the doctor can proceed in issuing a medical certificate. Though, if the coroner establishes that a post-mortem is required then this will be carried out and the relevant documents will later be passed onto the registrar.

The process of getting a medical certificate will depend on where your loved one passed away. If they died at home, the GP may give you the certificate personally, or you will be required to collect it from the GP’s receptionist. If they died in hospital or a care home, the administrative staff will pass the certificate on to the next of kin as standard practice.

The GP and administration staff will be on hand to offer additional information on how to register the death.

If you know whether your loved one wished to be cremated or buried, you should let the doctor or coroner know at the earliest convivence as additional forms are required for a cremation to take place, therefore it’s easier to notify the professional staff at an early stage.

We hope that you found this post useful and made your life a little easier when it comes to dealing with funeral arrangements. If you have any questions at all or wish to speak to someone, do not hesitate to get in touch.