Unless we contact you directly about changes to your care/treatment, please attend your appointment at The Walton Centre as normal.

Bereavement guidance

Bereavement is an extremely difficult time for anyone. Staff at The Walton Centre are available to support and guide any family or friends following the loss of a loved one. We have also prepared this information to help you, particularly around the formalities which can be difficult to deal with so soon following bereavement.

The usual process is outlined in our Bereavement Booklet which also contains some useful information that may help you at this time. This booklet aims to explain what happens next; including who can help and where you can obtain further information, as well as explaining the procedure such as registering a death and arranging a funeral.

The days following bereavement can be very difficult but there are formalities which must be dealt with promptly.

A Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD), a certificate issued by the doctor caring for your loved-one, will be sent directly from the hospital to the registrar of births, deaths and marriages based in Liverpool.

The Trust Doctor
Usually, the doctors who have been treating the patient will issue the MCCD. The Doctor will need to discuss the cause of death with the Medical Examiner or the Coroner before this can be issued.

The Medical Examiner
Medical Examiners are senior doctors who are trained in the legal and clinical elements of the death certification process. They will speak to the doctors who treated the patient, review medical records and discuss the death with the relevant next-of-kin. They also act as a medical advice resource for the Coroner. The Medical Examiner will advise if the Trust Doctor can issue the MCCD.

The Coroner
If the death has been referred to the Coroner, this is because the Trust doctor cannot issue a MCCD or because the death meets the criteria to discuss with the Coroner. The death cannot then be registered until the Coroner’s Office have conducted their enquires and the Register Office has received authority from the Coroner to do so. The Coroner will take the responsibly for issuing the death certificate and the Coroner’s Officer will contact the nominated next-of-kin or appropriate person to advise them on the procedure.

Listed below are the most common reasons why a death is reportable to the Coroner:

  • All sudden and unexplained deaths where the cause of death is unknown
  • A death within 24 hours of surgery
  • If the death is due to or contributed to by an industrial disease, poisoning or occupational injury, or related in any way or the deceased’s employment (e.g., mesothelioma or lung cancer)
  • The death is due to or contributed to by drugs, including prescribed drugs, where there is obvious overdose, poisoning or addiction is involved
  • Falls are a frequent reason for patients admitted to The Walton Centre. At times, relatives report a fall in the weeks prior to the admission, which may not have appeared to cause harm at the time, however, a referral to the coroner is mandatory in such instances.
  • If a death has been due to a violent incident, unnatural cause, or suicide.

Registering a death
To register the death of your loved one you will need to make an appointment with the Registrar’s office in Liverpool. This must be done within five working days, unless it has been reported to the Coroner - you will have been advised of this by the hospital staff.

You will need to contact the Registrar on 0151 233 3004 to book a telephone appointment. For further information you can visit their website:

To register the death you must be:

  • A relative of the person who has died, or
  • Someone present at the death, or
  • The person making the funeral arrangements.

Bereavement services for The Walton Centre are undertaken by the Bereavement Team at Liverpool University Hospitals (Aintree) who are located in Bluebell House, which is on the same site as The Walton Centre.

The staff are there to help and support you. They can offer advice and guidance regarding the necessary documentation you require and help with any questions you may have.
They can be contacted on 0151 529 2855, Monday – Friday between the hours of 9 am to 4.30pm.

Further information about the bereavement service can be found here 

Viewing the deceased
The body of your loved one will remain in the mortuary at Liverpool University Hospitals (Aintree) until arrangements have been made with the funeral director. The mortuary does not have a Chapel of Rest but does have a designated area for viewing and identification. Viewings are by appointment only and following all the current government guidance with regard to social distancing and infection prevention precautions. For further enquires please call: 0151 529 2855 Monday to Friday – 9.00 am to 4.30 pm

For funeral advice visit: 

A funeral can be paid for:

  • From a financial scheme the person had, e.g., a pre-paid funeral plan or insurance policy
  • By family members or friends
  • With money from the person’s estate (savings for example). To access this is called applying for a ‘grant of representation’ or Probate. For more information visit 

For funeral advice visit 

Funeral expense payment
If you are on a low income and need help to pay for a funeral you may be entitled to help and can find out more by visiting the website.

Comments and feedback about our service

Your feedback is very important to us. If you would like to share your comments or experience with us confidentially about any aspect of your loved one’s care or the bereavement service, please take a couple of minutes to complete the short form below, and where appropriate one of the team will contact you.

Page last updated: 25 January 2023