Bereavement service

Our aim is to provide dignity and care to the deceased patient and their next of kin, ensuring we support bereaved people through what is a very distressing and emotional time.

The Bereavement team will offer guidance and support to assist you through the practical steps of the process. The Medical Examiner Officer team will provide an independent review of all deaths within East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust.

The Bereavement and Medical Examiner Officers will:

Co-ordinate the efficient completion of the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death, as well as other paperwork required, such as cremation forms.

Keep you informed throughout the process

The death will be reviewed by an independent senior doctor called a Medical Examiner.

The Medical Examiner’s Officer will contact you by phone to inform you of the cause of death, the next steps, discuss any concerns, feedback, or questions you may have. Our Bereavement Team will electronically send the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death to the Registrar of Births and Deaths.

Liaise with outside agencies such as: GPs, Coroner’s Office, Funeral Directors, Registrars, etc.

Important information to know:

  • Please do not contact the registry office until the Medical Examiner’s Officer has contacted you to inform you that the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death has been sent.
  • Patient’s property will remain on the ward until it has been collected, please call the ward directly to arrange collection. Please note, jewellery worn by the patient at time of death is usually not removed but your chosen Funeral Director can do this for you.
  • Whilst we would like to have the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death completed as soon as possible, there may be delays due to doctors’ unavailability. Therefore, it is not always possible for this to happen on the same day that you contact the Bereavement Office, however we will always keep you updated.

You will need to book an appointment prior to visiting the team to ensure they are able to help you.

Contact information - please contact the appropriate office after 10am as follows

Conquest Hospital

Tel: 0300 131 4500 Ext: 773292

Eastbourne DGH

Tel: 0300 131 4785