Death of a Foreign Visitor
The following guidance should be noted in the event of a community-based death of a foreign visitor or tourist.
It is common for many families to have relatives abroad who visit the UK from time to time. Sadly some visitors may not be destined to return home as they fall ill and pass away during their visit.
In such circumstances, it is vitally important to understand that as "non-UK residents" their death has to be reported to the coroner.
Before any burial arrangements can be made, the Coroner will have to be informed of the death. The attending Paramedics or the 111 Emergency Doctor should be informed by immediate family members that the deceased was a visitor, has no GP, and is not registered on the NHS system. Following any formalities, the attending Paramedics or 111 Emergency Doctor should make arrangements to have the body removed by the contracted removal service under the care of the Coroner. They will also provide the coroner with a report and any information obtained from the family, following the person's death.
The following must be done in order to avoid unnecessary delays. Failure may also have legal implications.
The death has to be certified as "life extinct" by the attending Paramedics, 111 Emergency Doctor or Police
The death must be reported to the Coroner as a death in the community
The body should not be removed until the above two conditions are met
The body can only be removed under the care of the coroner
In most instances, where the death is not suspicious, an investigation will be carried out by the Coroner to ascertain the cause of death. Once this is complete the family or their nominated Funeral Director will be notified by the Coroner that the body has been released and will be provided with the necessary documentation to facilitate a burial.
The usual funeral process can only then be undertaken.