How to obtain the Medical Certificate
As soon as possible after a loved one has passed away either with or without Covid 19 we would encourage you to call us on 0191 548 7000 ( Fulwell ) or 0191 534 8000 ( Grindon )
Whether they have passed away in a Care/Nursing Home, Hospital or Hospice we can assist you obtaining the correct paperwork and help ease the process.
Hospital - Bereavement Services at the hospital should contact you once the Medical Certificate is ready. This certificate is now automatically sent via email to the Registrar's Office at Sunderland Civic Centre, however bereavement services should still contact you to advise that the certificate has been sent to enable you to contact the Registrar and make your appointment to register the passing.
Care Home/ Nursing Home / At Home - Call your loved ones GP on the usual surgery number. The process will be the same as above, the GP or receptionist will email the Medical Certificate straight to the Registrar's Office
Hospice - Call the Hospice and repeat the process above. The only difference here will be that it will be the Hospice Doctor that will issue the Medical Certificate however it will be emailed the same way as above.
Registering a Death
To register a death you still need to phone the Registrar ( in the district where they passed away ) and make an appointment to register their passing. The registration process is now all done via telephone appointment. They are carried out in the same way and you can still order Death Certificates that will be posted to your home address ( Sunderland Office 0191 520 5553 )
Funeral arrangements are now "back to normal" and we will ask you how you would like to arrange the funeral, either by telephone call, video call, within one of our funeral home's or a home visit. This is a guideline we are following in line with advice from the Government and the NAFD ( National Association of Funeral Directors ). We will arrange the funeral in exactly the same way and can either show you our brochure via video call, email you, in the office or at home. Everything we discuss during the arrangement will be typed up and posted to you the same day for your records, these are known as Confirmation of Funeral Arrangements. Don't forget though, out team is on hand 24/7 should you have any queries or concerns.
Please note, if we are asked to carry out a home visit we will ask you if you would prefer us to wear a mask and of course we will sanitise.
Visiting our Resting Suites
Our aim is to try and keep our funeral arranging, resting suite visiting and funeral services as normal as possible during very unnormal times.
Visiting your loved one in our Resting Suites should be just that. All we ask is that you make an appointment to visit ( so our different family's don't cross paths and we can keep the office and suites cleaned ) and maintain the Governments social distancing rules. If you are visiting from different households we would as that you make separate appointments. Our offices have several hand sanitizing stations and a full range of PPE is available should you wish to use it.
One of the main questions asked is "Can my loved one be dressed and viewed when they have died of Covid 19 ? " and the answer is YES. We will take all the necessary steps to ensure our safety and yours however we have yet to see any evidence that viewing can be not be carried out
The Funeral Day
Again we may see some changes regardless of whether we are visiting a Cemetery or a Crematorium.
Limousines are back in use and we are still using the hearse and can still leave from an address of your choosing to make things more personal. You can follow behind the hearse in your private cars however as you probably already know Sunderland Crematorium are restricting mourners to 30 ( in household "bubbles" ). If you live together, you can sit together, if not then all we ask is that you maintain the 2 metre rule within the chapel. All faiths and denominations can attend to officiate and floral tributes and Orders of Service / Keepsake Cards can still be used. The services have been reduced to 20 minutes from 30 minutes but we have found that if we remove the middle piece of music then we don't see much of an issue with timings.
Some Venues are back open for funerals and donation boxes are available again.
Please note, a representative of the Local Authority/Crematorium will be taking some personal details from you outside of the Crematorium and these will be stored for 21 days before being correctly disposed of. This is in line with the Governments advice on Track & Trace
Live Streaming Service
Live Steaming is now available within the chapel at Sunderland Crematorium. Simply visit www.obitus.com and enter the Username & Password which can be given to you by your funeral director. You can also watch the service again for a further 28 days by logging in and using the same details. Please note it can take up to 3 working days for the video to be uploaded after the service itself.
Our After Care Service is still as available as ever. Your funeral director will be at the end of the phone whenever they are needed and will call you to make sure everything is OK and to make sure you are coping incase further help and support is needed