If someone dies in hospital

If someone has died in hospital, the staff on the ward should be able to explain to you what will happen next.

You may wish to contact Spiritual Care and The Healthcare Chaplaincy Service. This service is available to offer compassionate, person-centred care to all. You can ask a member of staff to help you, or you can contact the team yourself:

The hospital staff will wash and clean the body of the person who has died. If the patient has specific faith or cultural beliefs, alternative arrangements would be made.

If the death was expected or a death certificate has been issued by the Doctor, the body of the person who has died will be taken to the hospital mortuary. The family or next of kin can arrange for a funeral director to collect the body.

If the death was sudden or unexplained it must be reported to the Procurator Fiscal to determine the cause of death. Staff both in the hospital and at the Procurator Fiscal’s office will guide you through what will happen.

Support services

A list of support services, including contact details, is available.