Lancashire County Council has introduced a new process for registering deaths by telephone to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
It should make things easier for the family of the deceased as they will wait to be contacted by telephone by a registrar rather than having to make an appointment to go into the registration service office in person.
This process applies to the registration of all deaths, even if the cause of death is not due to the coronavirus.
The new Coronavirus (Emergency) Act 2020 recently passed by the government allows for deaths to be registered by telephone, and documents relating to death certification and registration to be transferred electronically.
The medical practitioner certifying the death will now electronically transfer the death certificate (properly known as Medical Certificate Cause of Death or MCCD) to the registration service who will then call the family to arrange a suitable time to register the death over the telephone.
Steve Lloyd, Lancashire County Council registration service manager, said: “It’s vital that we now move to registering deaths by telephone to help prevent the spread of coronavirus by minimising the need for people to have face to face contact.
“The death of a loved one is always a difficult time, and potentially even more so during the current health crisis. This should make things a bit easier for families, as they will wait for us to contact them and won’t need to come into the office.
“We have been working closely with partners in the health service over recent days to bring in these changes, and will be working hard to continue to deliver a high standard of service to bereaved families.
“I hope that people will understand the need for this change to the process and I’m grateful for their understanding and cooperation at this challenging time.”
The changes also aim to make the process for certifying and registering deaths more efficient and minimise any delay in allowing the funeral to take place.