- Registering a death
- Making a declaration
- Tell Us Once
- Bereavement advice and support
- Advice to doctors: certifying a death
- Advice to doctors: referring a death to the coroner
Registering a death
A death can be registered with us once one of two things has happened:
- We have received a valid medical certificate from a GP or hospital doctor
- The coroner has sent us their certificate
If the death happens in Enfield and a coroner is not involved, it needs to be registered within five days.
If a death happens outside Enfield, you should contact the registrar in the area where it occurred.
You will need to attend the registration appointment in person at the register office.
You need to book an appointment to register a death. Appointments take around 40 minutes. You can book an appointment online or call 020 8379 1000.
Appointments are available Monday to Friday. You can't register a death on a Saturday or Sunday. If, for religious reasons, you need a same-day burial notice on a weekend or bank holiday, call 020 8379 1000.
Book a death registration appointment
A death should be registered by a relative of the deceased. If this is not possible, it should be registered by an adult who was present at the death or the person responsible for arranging the funeral with the undertaker.
To register the death, the registrar will need a valid medical cause of death certificate issued by a GP or hospital doctor, or a coroner's certificate. The GP, hospital doctor or coroner will email this to us before your appointment. The registrar will also ask you the name and contact information of your appointed funeral director, and the following about the person who has died:
- Date and place of death
- Full name
- Maiden surname of a woman who has married
- Date and place of birth
- NHS Number, if available
If the person who has died was married or in a civil partnership, the registrar will also need to know the following about their husband, wife or civil partner:
- Full name
- Date of birth
This is required even if the husband, wife or civil partner is also deceased.
It may also be helpful to you to find these documents belonging to the person who has died:
- Birth certificate
- Marriage or civil partnership certificate
- NHS medical card
You will need more documents and information if you want to use our Tell Us Once service. The special reference number you need will be given to you after the death has been registered.
There is no charge for registering a death. We will issue the 'green form' directly to your undertaker and give you a BD8 form for the Department of Work and Pensions.
Death certificates cost a fee. We accept payment by credit or debit card only. You will pay in person when you attend your appointment.
For information on dealing with bereavement, view our bereavement guide.
Making a declaration
If the death did not occur in Enfield but it is easier for you to visit the Enfield Register Office, you can make a declaration.
To do this, you book an appointment in the usual way. You will need to arrange for the GP, hospital or coroner to email the medical certificate to us before your appointment. When the appointment is finished, the registrar will send your declaration to the correct register office for you. We cannot give you any certificates.
The register office that receives your declaration will email the 'green form' to your nominated undertaker. This means that it will take longer for you to arrange the funeral than it would if you were to register the death at the appropriate register office.
This service is free. If you want any death certificates after registration has taken place, you order these directly from the receiving register office.
Tell Us Once service
Tell Us Once is a free government service that allows you to report a death to most government departments in one go.
A short information video explaining the Tell Us Once service can be viewed via YouTube.
Tell Us Once will notify:
- council departments - to update services, such as council housing, Housing Benefit, Council Tax or Blue Badge, and remove the person from the Electoral Register
- HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) - to deal with personal tax and to update Child Benefit and tax credits claims (contact HMRC separately for business taxes, like VAT)
- Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) - to update benefits information, such as State Pension or Universal Credit
- Passport Office - to cancel a British passport
- Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) - to cancel a driving licence and remove registered keeper details of up to five vehicles
- Public Sector or Armed Forces Pension Schemes - to update pension records
How to use the service
When you register a death with the registrar, they may complete the Tell Us Once service with you at the same time.
Otherwise, the registrar will provide you with a unique Tell Us Once reference number, which will allow you to access the service online via GOV.UK.
If you have been issued with a Coroners Fact of Death (Interim Death Certificate) you may still be able to use the service and the registrar will advise you how to do so.
Before you use Tell us Once, you will need the following information about the person who died:
- Date of birth
- National Insurance number
- Driving licence number
- Vehicle registration number
- Passport number
You will also need:
- details of any benefits or entitlements they were getting, for example State Pension or Universal Credit
- details of any council services they were getting, for example Adult Social Services, Blue Badge or travel pass
- the name and address of their next of kin
- the name and address of any surviving spouse or civil partner
- the name, address and contact details of the person or company dealing with their estate (property, belongings and money), known as their 'executor' or 'administrator'
- details of any public sector or armed forces pension schemes they were getting or paying in to
For more information or to use this service, visit GOV.UK - Tell Us Once.
Bereavement advice and support
You may find these web pages helpful:
- Bereavement help and support
- What to do after a death
- Getting help with funeral costs
- Wills and probate
- Widowed and Young (WAY)
- Child Death Helpline
For more information on dealing with bereavement, view our bereavement guide.
Advice to doctors: certifying a death
The Notification of Deaths Regulations 2019 came into force on 1 October 2019. The government has published details about how this affects doctors, including the need to refer some deaths to the coroner at the government’s website, GOV.UK.
We can only register deaths that have happened within the London Borough of Enfield (this does not include the Barnet General Hospital), and where a valid Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death (MCCD) has been completed, or if the coroner has issued the necessary paperwork. You need to print your name and GMC number on any MCCD that you issue.
To help you complete an MCCD, you can view an MCCD example (PDF, 143.86 KB).
Basic rules for MCCD
A Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death is valid if:
- the causes of death are acceptable; and
- the certifying doctor saw the deceased within the last 28 days of their illness; or
- the certifying doctor was in medical attendance during the deceased’s last illness and also saw the body after death
If any of the three rules above are not met, the doctor should refer the death to the coroner. Referrals should be made by email to email@example.com.
The coroner is unable to offer advice on completing a MCCD, or offer guidance on what is appropriate to include. However, they have produced a Quick Guide (PDF, 118.25 KB) to help doctors, which explains the Greater London Northern Districts Coroners process.
You can also view the following guides, produced by the coroner:
- A Guide to Reporting a Death to the Coroner (PDF, 35.13 KB)
- Step by Step Guide - MCCD and Cremation (PDF, 90.77 KB)
Things to avoid when completing a MCCD
Avoid giving ‘organ failure’ as the sole cause of death
Don’t certify deaths as being due to the failure of any organ without stating the disease or condition that led to the organ failure. Failure of most organs can be due to unnatural causes, such as poisoning, injury or industrial disease. You should refer to the coroner if you don’t know a natural disease responsible for any organ failure.
Avoid terminal events, modes of dying and other vague terms
Terms that don’t clearly identify a disease or pathological process aren’t acceptable as the only cause of death. This includes terminal events or modes of dying, such as sepsis, cardiac or respiratory arrest, or gastro intestinal bleed. Very vague statements, such as cardiovascular event or incident are equally unacceptable. Cardiovascular event could be intended to mean a stroke or myocardial infarction. It could, however, also include cardiac arrest or fainting, or a surgical or radiological procedure.
Avoid using abbreviated medical terms
Don’t abbreviate any cause of death, such as ‘COPD’ or use medical shorthand, such as 'Ⓛ'. All causes of death should be written in full. The registrar is required to record on the death certificate the cause of death exactly as you state them on the MCCD. This includes spelling errors.
The General Register Office (GRO) has produced guidance for doctors. GRO are responsible for all death registrations within England or Wales.
The British Medical Association also has information on their website.
Advice to doctors: referring a death to the coroner
As a doctor, if you refer a death to the coroner, the coroner will need:
- a patient summary to the coroner services
- a copy of the MCCD (if you can complete a MCCD)
- a completed GP Referral Form 1 / Hospital Referral Form 1
If urgent action is required, mark the email ‘URGENT’ and explain why the matter is urgent.
Referrals should be made by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You should advise the family (or person who is qualified to register the death) that they will need to wait for the coroner to contact them (usually within 24 hours) before they can book an appointment to register the death.
If you’re unable to access Form 1
Access to the Form 1 is from the EMIS system. If you are having issues accessing a Form 1, please contact your Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).