The council has a duty to arrange the funeral for anybody who dies within the borough if:

  1. no funeral arrangements have been made
  2. no relatives of the deceased can be found, or
  3. the relatives of the deceased cannot or will not arrange a funeral

If the person passes away in a hospital or care home, the hospital bereavement officer or care home manager will organise the funeral, depending on the individual circumstances.

This responsibility is placed on the council by S46 of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984. S46 of the Act also states that the council may recover the costs incurred in making the funeral arrangements from the estate of the deceased.

If the person in question died outside of the borough the funeral arrangements will be the responsibility of the local authority where they died, even if they were living in the London Borough of Bromley at the time of their death.

If funeral arrangements have already been made, or the funeral has already taken place, the council will not be able to get involved. We do not provide any funding to families for funerals, whether the funeral has taken place or not.

Once the council has accepted a case, we will deal with all aspects of the organisation of a funeral, including registering the death, dealing with the funeral directors to make the arrangements, paying for the funeral and recovering payment from the deceased’s estate where possible.

A cremation service will normally be held, unless it is established that the deceased would have chosen burial for religious, cultural, or personal reasons. The burial will take place in an unmarked grave.

The council's contracted funeral directors will provide everything necessary for a simple but dignified service, including a coffin, a hearse to transport the deceased to the crematorium or cemetery, and pallbearers to transfer the coffin to the chapel. Any religious beliefs will be respected, and an appropriate service will be conducted.

Relatives and/or friends, if known to us, will be advised of the date, time, and place of the service.

We have published some data on public health funerals that have taken place since 2013.

If you require any further information, please contact us.

Contact appointee and deputyship team

Address: Civic Centre, Stockwell Close, Bromley, BR1 3UH

Telephone: 020 8603 3556