If a family member dies in hospital, a hospice or rest home, the next of kin will be informed and will be advised to contact a funeral company. Nursing staff will ensure a doctor completes the Medical Certificate of Causes of Death form and Application for Cremation form (if applicable).
Should a family member die at home, while under the care of a hospice or registered palliative caregiver, you need to inform the on-call nursing staff who will arrange for a doctor to visit and sign the required papers.
At this point our advice to families is to slow down. In most circumstances there is no need to start making any arrangements straight away. If the person has died at Wellington Regional Hospital ask to use the private Rata or Ngaio bereavement rooms on the ground floor. If they have died in a hospice or rest home you can ask the staff to help lay them out and continue to have visitors. If they have died at home – again, take your time to process and acknowledge your loss.
In the event of an unexpected, sudden or accidental death at home, hospital, work or public place – the police must be contacted and the death will be investigated by the Coroner. A thorough examination by post-mortem will be required to ascertain the cause of death.
Who to notify
- Next of kin and family members
- Solicitor or Executor of the will
- Funeral company to take care of the funeral arrangements