Bereavement Service

Please accept our sincere condolences if you are visiting this site following the death of a relative or friend.

What we do

At Sheffield Teaching Hospitals we recognise that care for our patients and their family continues even after death. Our experienced bereavement team provide a caring and compassionate service, offering support and reassurance, information and guidance.

Here to help

Working closely with our doctors and nursing colleagues, the bereavement staff coordinate the completion of the medical certificate of the cause of death (MCCD). This is the document that is needed in order to register the death. Whilst we endeavour to have the certificate ready within three working days following a death, this is not always possible.

When a death has occurred, the ward staff will contact the bereavement office with the information of the deceased patient and contact information of a family member. The bereavement staff will contact the family member the next working day.

On this call the bereavement staff will explain the process for completing the MCCD. As part of this process the medical notes will be reviewed by a medical examiner.

Medical Examiners are independent consultant-level doctors who come from a variety of medical specialities, including General Practice. They will not have been involved in the care of, or decision making related to the deceased person. They are supported by a team of independent Medical Examiner Officers. Both Medical Examiner and Medical Examiner Officers have undertaken specialist training for this role from the Royal College of Pathology.

All deaths that occur in England and Wales will be reviewed by either a Medical Examiner, or His Majesty’s Coroner, if required. They do this by independently reviewing the patient’s medical records and any test results. They then reach a conclusion about what they believe the cause of death to be. The doctors from the ward also do this having looked after the patient. Once both the doctor and medical examiner agree the MCCD is completed. Medical Examiners also review the care given. Where there are concerns about the care given, or the death needs investigating further, the Medical Examiner Office will refer the case to an appropriate team, which maybe within the Trust or if needed to the coroner.

The Medical Examiner Office will contact you by telephone, to discuss the Medical Examiner’s review, explain what the proposed Cause of Death is and why. They will check if you have any questions or feedback you would wish to give about the care the person received before their death. They can explain what medical language means and make it easier to understand what happened.

This MCCD will be emailed to the register office so there is no need to come into the hospital unless you are collecting any belongings that were not handed back to you at the time of death.

Sometimes a death is reported to the coroner and if they decide that a postmortem examination is needed, you will not receive a MCCD from the hospital. If the death is reported to the coroner, the bereavement staff will contact you and inform you of this and give a reason for the referral. If the death is referred to the coroner, the family members details will be passed to them, and the coroner’s office will contact you with further information as part of the process.

Contact details

  • Northern General Hospital 0114 2714049; 0114 2714866 or 0114 2714555
  • Royal Hallamshire Hospital 0114 2712385
  • Weston Park Hospital Contact Royal Hallamshire Hospital on 0114 2712385
  • Jessop Wing please contact 0114 2268425

Opening Times. Monday to Friday 08:00 to 16:00 excluding Bank Holidays

If you have not been given a Bereavement Booklet by the ward, then an electronic version of our booklet is available by the link below:

You can view the hospital bereavement booklet here

Tell us about your experience

If you feel able to, we would appreciate you completing the following online survey to tell us about the quality of end of life care provided to your loved one and the support given to yourself during their last admission in hospital. The experience of our patients and the people close to them is extremely important to us. All responses are anonymous and will be treated confidentially.

To take part in the survey – click here.

This survey is part of the National Audit of Care at the End of Life (NACEL). It is separate from the hospital’s compliments and complaints process, for which you will need to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) directly.

Further Information


Additional Information

Contact details

Northern General Hospital

0114 2714049; 0114 2714866 or 0114 2714555

Royal Hallamshire Hospital

0114 2712385

Weston Park Hospital

Contact Royal Hallamshire Hospital on 0114 2712385

Jessop Wing

0114 2268425



< back

Rate this page: