Bereavement Advice

National Bereavement Service

Every bereavement is different and there are different processes depending on your circumstances.

Telephone: 0800 0246 121



When a person passes away, there are three things that must be done in the first few days:

  • A medical certificate must be obtained from the GP or hospital doctor (this is necessary to register the death).
  • The death must be registered within 5 days (8 days in Scotland). You will then receive the necessary documents for the funeral.
  • The funeral arrangements need to be made.

Registering the death

If the death has been reported to the coroner (or Procurator Fiscal in Scotland) they must give permission before registering the death.

You can register the death if you are a relative, a witness to the death, a hospital administrator or the person making the arrangements with the funeral directors.

You can use the ‘Register a Death’ page on the website that will guide you through the process. This will also explain the registration process for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Arranging the funeral

The funeral can usually only take place after the death is registered. Most people use a funeral director, though you can arrange a funeral yourself.

Funeral directors

Choose a funeral director who’s a member of one of the following:

These organisations have codes of practice – they must give you a price list when asked.

Some local councils run their own funeral services, for example for non-religious burials. The British Humanist Association can also help with non-religious funerals.

Arranging the funeral yourself

Contact the Cemeteries and Crematorium Department of your local council to arrange a funeral yourself.

Funeral costs

Funeral costs can include:

  • funeral director fees
  • things the funeral director pays for on your behalf (called ‘disbursements’ or ‘third-party costs’), for example, crematorium or cemetery fees, or a newspaper announcement about the death
  • local authority burial or cremation fees

Funeral directors may list all these costs in their quotes.

Bereavement Support

Please see below some helpful websites for bereavement support:

Home – The Good Grief Trust

Cruse Bereavement Support 

Bereavement Advice Cente


SOBS (Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide)

Child Death Helpline

Hospice Support

There are a number of hospices in Wiltshire who offer bereavement services to families known to them.

Dorothy House Hospice bereavement service

Telephone: 01225 722 999

Prospect Wellbeing Centre

Telephone: 01672 512915

Salisbury Hospice Family Support service

Telephone: 01722 425113


The Living Well Team

Our Living Well Team are available to support you. They will visit you, listen to you and encourage you to find groups and activities to help you find a sense of purpose following your loss.  Patients are able to refer themselves to the team directly by contacting 01249 462775 and choosing option 3 for additional support.