Unless present when death occurs, the relatives will be notified by the nursing staff as soon as possible. Arrangements can then be made with the Hospital administrative staff to deal with any legal formalities. These will include collecting the issuing a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (issued by a Hospital Doctor) and personal possessions of the deceased.
If it is proposed that the deceased is to have a burial service, they can be released into the funeral director’s care immediately (within hospital mortuary opening hours). If it is a proposed cremation the hospital will have to complete a cremation document, this involves two doctors signing this document to confirm cause of death, this is often not an immediate action, it is essential that the doctor which cared for the deceased during their last illness signs the first part of the document, however we may have to wait until the doctor is back on their shift.