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We are sorry that you have experienced the loss of someone close to you and we would like to express our sincere sympathy to you and your family at this time. This guide aims to provide some practical advice to help you during the early days of your bereavement.

The following people will be able to help you during this time:

  • Ward/unit staff where the person close to you died.
  • The Medical Examiner is a senior doctor whose job it is to review the care the person close to you received.
  • The Medical Examiner’s officer will support the medical examiner and you, ensuring the right process is in place.


You will be contacted by the Medical Examiners Office. They will give you an opportunity to talk through the medical certificate of cause of death (MCCD) and what this means, and ask if you have any questions or concerns. They will answer any questions and concerns and if needed arrange for you to be contacted by the ward team or by the PALS team (Patient Advice and Liaison Service)


Telephone: 0800 0320202 or email:


If the cause of death is uncertain, or due to a cause which requires liaison with the Coroner’s office, the medical examiner will inform you of this.

Further help during this time

Many people during a time of grief and bereavement struggle and feel they are not coping. These feelings are often within the normal range of grieving that is to be expected and most find ways of coping. However, there are some who may need further support especially if the death of someone close to them has been complex or traumatic. The following information is not exhaustive but intended to signpost you to organisations you may find helpful. Your G.P. and others within your local healthcare practice may be able to support you further as needed.


You may also struggle with how to support children in the family with news of a death. There are organisations that provide advice on supporting children:


Organisations which offer support include

  • The Macmillan Support Services provides emotional and social support to adults following any bereavement. To find out more information please contact the local offices on:

North Tyneside: 0191 2934377

Northumberland: 01670 855533



  • Samaritans offer a confidential 24 hour emotional support service.

Whatever you’re going through, call free any time, from any phone on: 116 123.


  • Cruse Bereavement Care  offers support after the death of someone close. The helpline is open Monday-Friday 9.30-17:00 (excluding bank holidays), with extended hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, until 20:00:

National Helpline: 0808 808 1677


  • GOV.UK – Step by Step Guide


  • GOV.UK – For advice on death of a spouse


  • Age UK Information and advice for older people.

National information line: 0800 055 6112




  • Marie Curie –  Support and advice for people caring for child who has experienced a bereavement.


  • Child Bereavement UK Offers support and resources for families where a child or young person has died.

Support team telephone: 08000288840,  open 9.00 to 17.00 Monday to Friday.


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