Bereavement Advice at Elm Lodge

A practical guide to help you through a distressing time. Developed as part of our participation in the Gold Standards Framework for Care Homes (GSFCH) programme

At Elm Lodge we understand that this is a difficult time for you and have written a few notes to try to help you with some of the details you will need to sort out, following death of someone close.

Funeral Directors

If you have already given us details of the funeral director involved, then we will arrange for the transfer to be made, and you may wish to contact the funeral service to discuss the arrangements. In the event of the death being referred to the Coroner, the funeral director can still be contacted, and should be able to offer advice about the next step.
If you have not yet chosen a funeral director, contact details for two in Leighton Buzzard are:

Please let us know when the funeral or cremation is, so that we can send flowers or make a donation to any nominated charity.

Collecting the death certificate

Before arranging anything else, you will need to collect the death certificate. This will be issued by the G.P. unless the death occurred in hospital, and you should ring the surgery prior to collecting the certificate to ensure that it is ready. Contact numbers for the local surgeries are:

Registering the death

Once you have obtained the death certificate, you will need to ring the registrar on 0300 300 8089, to arrange an appointment to register the death. The local registrar’s office is at

The registrar’s secretary will then arrange an appointment for you at which, as well a copies of the death certificate, you should also be given a green form to take to the funeral directors, and a separate notice that is needed by the Benefits Agency. You will need to fill in this form and return it with the pension book if applicable.

The registrar’s office is only open for a few hours each week, so it is important to make this call as soon as possible, because the death should be registered within five working days. Registration must be in the area where the death took place.

Who can register

Normally, the next of kin would register a death. If this is not possible, it can be done by one of the following:

Other notifications

As well as contacting other friends and family members, you will need to notify a number of organisations of the death, which should be done over the next few weeks. These may include, among others:

Elm Lodge

We ask that the room is cleared within three days of the death. Whilst we are happy to assist with disposal of clothing and small items, please ensure any TV and items of furniture not belonging to the home are removed.

Care home fees

If you are due a refund of care fees overpaid, or need a final invoice to settle the account, you should receive this within a few days.


More information regarding benefits following the death of a family member may be gained from the Department for Work and Pensions Booklet “What to do After a Death in England and Wales”. Copies are available free of charge from the Post Office, Library, Social Services and Job Centres, or on-line from
To notify the Department for Work and Pensions of a death contact the DWP Bereavement Service on 0845 606 0265 (textphone: 0845 606 0285)


If you are unsure of anything please feel free to ask for advice. You may feel in need of more professional support if struggling to understand the way you are feeling, or may just wish to talk to someone else. If this is the case, help may be available from the following sources:

Want to pay us a visit to see for yourself? Please ring 01525 371117.