Ask Jennings.ie: Death at Home
If your loved one has passed away at home, there are a variety of protocols, procedures and paperwork to be completed, and it can appear quite overwhelming to someone who is shocked and saddened at the very recent passing of a loved one.
Once you make the initial phone call to Jennings, we can help you establish what it is that must be done in order to move forward.
What can a ‘D-Doc’ do?
A ‘D-Doc’ is a doctor that works for an out-of-hours or emergency service when an ill person cannot see their own GP or get to a hospital. The doctors operate on a rota system, so often anyone who has had to attend this kind of out-of-hours service won’t see the same doctor twice.
It is for this reason that in the event of a death at home, the ‘D Doc’ cannot fill out the essential Death Notification Form, because they are unlikely to have had a full and complete medical history for the person who has died.
If your loved one passes away at home, the ‘Death Notification Form’ which is required to register the death must be filled out by the doctor that was treating the deceased, a doctor that knows them and the details of any illnesses they suffered from.
A ‘D Doc’ can sign a form acknowledging the death, but they cannot sign the all-important form about the cause of death, the ‘Death Notification Form’. This must be filled out by the doctor who had regular visits with the deceased and knew their medical history.
What happens if the Family Doctor is away?
The paperwork required for a death at home can sometimes be complicated, especially if the person’s family doctor, GP or attending physician is away. If the death has occurred at home, and the family doctor is unavailable, the coroner must be notified and proceedings will carry on from there.
In cases where the family doctor is uncontactable (for instance, if they’re on holidays) and therefore the Death Notification Form cannot be signed, the family must contact the Gardai who will in turn contact the coroner. It’s no cause for alarm; it’s simply a matter of protocol and ‘regular procedure’ in these types of cases.
It can be upsetting for the family and this is where your Jennings Funeral Director will help gently guide you through everything that needs to be done.
Your Funeral Director is an invaluable source of knowledge and support. You can lean on them, secure in the knowledge that they will make sure everything proceeds as swiftly and effectively as they can under the circumstances and that distress to the grieving family is kept to a minimum.
Just call us on 01 855 5511, 24 hours a day, and we’ll help you with any questions you have. You can rely on us.