COVID-19 Information

First Steps

COVID-19 Information

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 we have been committed to looking after our families to the best of our ability.

We are working closely with the  government and the funeral sector to make sure we provide you with the best possible service under the current restrictions, whilst providing necessary protection to both you, your family and our staff.

The current message from the Government is that funerals should continue as far as possible, for now, but take into account all of the guidelines issued for minimising the risk of transmission. This includes the need to protect at-risk groups, to avoid large gatherings of people, for good hand hygiene and the avoiding of unnecessary physical contact.

We are taking steps to ensure all initial contact with the family (e.g. the arrangement meeting) is conducted remotely, for example, by telephone or email. So please do not feel offended if we ask to conduct the arrangements remotely as the current Government-advise is for everybody to stay at home. If you are calling us following the death of a loved one at home, you must tell us if the person has died of the Covid-19 Coronavirus or if you are showing symptoms of it. Again, please do not be offended by this, we may also ask you if this is the case; we need to ensure as far as possible the safety of you and our staff at all times. If you need to contact us about arranging a funeral and are already affected by the Covid-19 virus, rest assured, we will do our utmost to help you facilitate the funeral arrangement.

Our Helpful Advice

When we lose someone we love, there is the immediate sadness, which can often follow with panic and “what do we do now”.

We have given some information below that may help you, but please remember that you can call us at any time of the day or night if you feel panicked or stressed, we are always at the end of the phone for you. When a death occurs at home or hospital and is expected.

If you have anymore questions that need answering, please see our FAQ’s section or feel free to send us a message via our Contact Us form.

What to do next

Sadly when we lose someone we love, its always an incredibly sad time whether the death is expected or not. For many of us we won’t have to do this very often through our lifetime however, when we do it can feel very confusing and upsetting, and you may ask yourself many questions. Grief is a very powerful emotion and you may need to be guided through the process to make the right choices and decisions for you, your family and of course the person you have lost. We take everything into consideration and try to find the right way for you to say goodbye and to remember who you’ve lost in the most fitting way. Brunel Funeral Directors are available to talk to 24hrs a day, to offer guidance and support and our family will talk you through the steps you need to take throughout the funeral process. We pride ourselves in treating every family personally and giving you individual attention. The one thing we don’t want our families to do is stress, panic or worry. That is why we are here for you.

When someone dies at home

If you lose someone at home and the death has been expected, the first thing you will need to do is contact the doctor or GP practice that has been treating your loved one. The GP will come to the house to certify the death, once this has been done you can call Brunel Funeral Directors and we will arrange to bring your loved on into our care. We will aim to be with you as quickly as possible, our funeral director will arrive with our private ambulance and we will always aim to park as close to the property as possible. We will then carry out our duties, quietly and discreetly and always with dignity. Under normal circumstances if your loved one has seen the GP during the last 14 days, the GP will issue the “Medical Cause of Death” . You will need to collect this from the GP rececption and take with you to register the death, normally within 5 days. The registrar will then provide you with the Death Certificate(s).

When someone dies in hospital

When someone passes away in hospital, the hospital will ask you your choice of burial or cremation, this makes a difference to the required legal documents that are completed. They will then arrange the “Medical Cause of Death”, this will normally be . You will need to arrange collection of any belongings from the hospital. You can then inform us to act on your behalf and we will then arrange to bring your loved one into our care and make the arrangements for you.

When someone dies in a nursing home

When a death occurs in a nursing home, you will normally have arranged with the home which funeral directors you wish to be called. The home will arrange everything with the doctor and will call us to bring your loved one into our care.

Following a sudden death

If your loved one suddenly passes away suddenly and unexpectedly, you must first call for an ambulance. The paramedics will verify the death, and if necessary will contact the Police (this is nothing to be concerned about and normal practice). A mortuary team will convey your loved one to a Coroners Mortuary. There, the Coroner will carry out his investigations to find the cause of death. Once the Cornoner has completed his investigation he will send confirmation to us and we can then bring your loved one into our care. Having a sudden death does not stop you from contacting us and having discussions and seeking advice. We will guide you thorugh the process.

Registering the Death

Who should register a death?
The death should be registerd by relative of the deceased. If this is not possible, then someone who was present at the death can also do this. If there are no relatives then the person who takes charge of the arrangements will also be able to do this.

Make an appointment to register the death.
You must make an appointment with the Register Office to register a death. You must register the death within the area that the death occurred and you should register within 5 working days of the death occurring.
For deaths in Bristol you must ring 0117 922 2800 (you can then choose to make an appointment at either Bristol Registrars Office in Corn Street or at Southmead Hospital).
For deaths in South Gloucestershire, please ring 01454 863 140 for an appointment. Civic Centre, High Street, Bristol, BS15 9TR.
For deaths in North Somerset, please ring 01823 282 251 for an appointment. Castlewood, Tickenham Road, Clevedon

Tell Us Once (TUO) service

Following the registration of a death several government departments and local services will need to be told.

Once the death is registered the registrar will issue you with a TUO reference number. You can go online or call the Department for Work and Pensions for free on 0800 083 7308. They will tell most government and local government departments that the death has taken place, on your behalf.

You have 28 days to use this service after registering the death.

You can find out more about the service from the Department for Work and Pensions: Tell Us Once – website

We will help you through the process
every step of the way.

Leave your number below for a call to discuss your situation

You can leave us an email at or call 0117 374 2002

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can I personalise my funeral for my loved one?

    Yes, you can now have the funeral of your choice, either a celebration of someones life or a traditional funeral service. You are able to choose whatever music suits your family and loved one, you can have a celebrant, minister or even take the service yourself. We will discuss all your options and with you find the best outcome.

    How do I organise a burial?

    Burials are possible but as graves are becoming increasingly difficult to find, and you may not have your first choice of cemetery. We will work with you to try to find the best outcome. We will try to find out if you have an existing family grave that can be used. If not we will find out the options available to you.

    I want a Green Funeral?

    Green funerals are burials that take place in natural woodland or meadows, in areas that concentrate on encouraging flowers and wildlife and the natural beauty of the surrounding area. For a green funeral the coffin must be made of a natural biodegradable material, e.g willow, banana leaf, cardboard.

    Does my loved one have to be embalmed?

    No. This is not required and most of the time unnecessary. We will only request this in very extreme situations, ie. if someone has to be repatriated to another country it is then a legal requirement.

    What happens to the flowers?

    Flowers at a burial will remain on the grave, but at a cremation the flowers are taken to the garden of rest and after a few days will be disposed of. We actively encourage our families to take the flowers away or take them to a family grave or if you dont want them to be wasted we can always find a nursing home that will make use of them. The main point to be made is you have paid for them, and you can make use of them as you wish.

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