Bereavement services at Queen's Hospital Burton

The Bereavement service provides a sensitive, empathetic approach to the individual needs of relatives, at a time of loss.

When you lose someone you love, it can be a devastating experience. Grief is unique and only you know how you are feeling. You may feel unsure about the practical things that you now have to do. We are here to help you through this.

Our Bereavement service provides support and information for bereaved people when a patient has died in hospital. The team will liaise with them to provide the medical certificate, co-ordinate cremation forms where appropriate, and give advice on registration. The team will also provide advice on arranging funerals where there is no next of kin.

When someone has died, a medical certificate will be issued or the death will be referred to the coroner. Our staff will advise you which will apply and provide details on what will happen next.

Contact the Bereavement service at Queen's Hospital Burton

Queen's Hospital Burton 
Belvedere Road
Burton on Trent
DE13 0RB

The office is open Monday to Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm 


01283 593 001

During busy periods your call may be diverted to an answer machine. Please leave a message with your contact details and we will return your call at the earliest opportunity. 


Out of Hours

On call manager: via switchboard

mortuary: 01283 566333

Registrar: 01283 566333

Coroner: 01283 566333

Medical Examiner

The purpose of the medical examiner system will be to;

  • ensure greater scrutiny of all non-coronial deaths
  • ensure that appropriate direction of deaths to the Coroner
  • have a better service for the bereaved and an opportunity to raise any concerns to a doctor not involved in the care of the deceased
  • improve the quality of death certification
  • improve the quality of mortality data

Telephone: 01283 511511 extension 5749

Issuing the medical certificate

When the hospital has issued a medical certificate, the death should be registered within five days.  An appointment can be made with the Staffordshire registration service. The Bereavement Team will advise you how to do this.

Please be aware, that the paperwork required may take over 24 hours to be processed, and you may be asked to call back at a later time. However please be assured we will do everything we can to get this completed as quickly as possible for you.

Referrals to the coroner

When we are unable to provide a medical certificate, the death will be referred to the coroner and you will be advised when to contact the coroner’s office.

How a death is registered

When the hospital has issued a medical certificate, the death should be registered within five days. An appointment can be made with the Staffordshire Register Service. The Bereavement team will advise you on how to do this.

Early release of the deceased

The Trust recognises that there will be occasions when following the death of an inpatient, an early release of the deceased body may be required.  

Early release is a process whereby the MCCD is issued very shortly after a death has occurred so that the funeral can take place quickly, normally within 24 hours, and it is usually a request for a burial. Under the normal process a MCCD is issued and the registration should take place within 5 days of the death, following which, funeral arrangements are made.

Please follow this checklist to support an early release request:

An early release could be requested based on any of the following factors or combination of factors

  • Religious or cultural beliefs of the patient
  • A request by the nominated representative (this would need to be either the Executor of the will/Grant of Probate or Personal Representative, if there is no will) of the deceased patient in order for an early burial to take place
  • A request by an official authority (ie police, coroner)
  • Repatriation of the deceased

The University Hospitals of Birmingham NHS Trust have produced a short video to highlight different cultural beliefs around deceased patients and releasing their bodies early (opens in new window) >


What Happens Out of Hours

The Bereavement Office will be open and available for advice and guidance between 8:30am - 4:30pm, Monday to Friday. Outside of these hours, the senior nurse in charge on the ward will be able to advise on next steps.  There is also advice available from the on-call manager can be contacted via the hospital switchboard on 01283 511 511.

For more information please access our FAQs sheet:

Information and support

At UHDB, our Chaplaincy team > offer support for all patients, families and staff during their time in hospital. The leaflet below is available to relatives and provides useful and helpful information, at what is often a difficult and distressing time.

We provide support for the following;

  • Arranging completion of all documentation, including medical certificates.
  • Arranging cremation papers when needed.
  • Advice and information regarding funeral arrangements.
  • Emotional support.
  • Liaising with the coroners staff, police, social workers and General Practitioners (family doctor).
  • Helping next of kin, where appropriate, to complete documentation and providing advice regarding help from the Department of Work and Pensions Social Fund Funeral Payment (SF200 form) and the Bereavement Benefit (BB1).
  • Making arrangements for tracing next of kin, where no next of kin is recorded in the medical records.
  • Arranging a funeral where no next of kin has been found.

For more information on bereavement support, please view our Queens Hospital Burton Bereavement Booklet (opens in new window) >

Specialist bereavement midwives

Sadly, not every pregnancy has a happy outcome and some end in the loss of a much wanted baby. The role of the bereavement midwife is to provide immediate, long term sensitive care and support for families following a late pregnancy loss, stillbirth and neonatal death.

Although the role of the bereavement midwife is hospital-based, they can see families at home giving help and guidance with the necessary practical requirements such as registering the death, funeral arrangements, supporting the family’s emotional needs and helping to create positive memories of their baby.

They are also on hand to provide advice, plans of care, and ongoing support for women in subsequent pregnancies where required.

Contact us

Samantha Hewitt
Specialist Bereavement Midwife
Telephone: 07967771761


We value your opinion.

Please accept our sympathies for your loss.

It is important to us that we provide the best possible care and support, not only for patients but also those whom they share their lives. We sincerely hope that we have been able to provide you and your loved one with the support and comfort you have needed at this time.

Our thoughts are with you at this time.

Feedback can help us understand what we are doing well and what we can improve upon for others who may be going through a similar experience.

We may ask you for an email address to send information to you and to also send you a link to our survey. Alternatively, you can complete our survey below.

Complete the bereavement feedback survey (opens in a new window) >