The Coroner

her majesty’s coroner

In the case of a sudden, unexpected or industry-related death, a Coroner is required to investigate the circumstances. It then becomes the Coroner’s responsibility to determine how and why an individual died.

If a deceased has been taken into the Coroner’s care, a date for the funeral cannot be made until Coroner has completed their investigation.

The Coroner will review the information and will discuss the case with the deceased’s doctors. They may decide that a post-mortem examination is not required in which case the death will be referred back to the hospital doctors or to the deceased’s GP. A medical certificate of death will be issued and an appointment to visit the registrar can be made.

The Coroner's Team

If a person has died unexpectedly they will be taken to the hospital mortuary by the Coroner’s contracted team.  This is usually a contracted funeral director.  Their service to you ends as soon as they have transferred the deceased into the Coroner’s care.  You are welcome to contact us to inform us of the death and we will guide you with the forthcoming funeral arrangements.

Post-Mortems

If the Coroner decides that a post-mortem examination is required then the Coroner’s officers will contact you to inform you of this decision.

Once a post-mortem has taken place the Coroner’s officers will contact you to say that you can go ahead with the funeral arrangements. They will forward all relevant documentation to the funeral director, which means that a date for the funeral service can then be booked. If a post-mortem has taken place, the Coroner will also inform the registrar. The registrar will contact you to make an appointment to register the person’s death.

Inquests

In some instances an inquest, which is a formal public enquiry into the medical cause and circumstances of death, may also be necessary. Should an inquest be required then the Coroner will issue an Interim Certificate which will enable the funeral arrangements to be made. In this case, registration cannot happen until the inquest has been closed but the funeral may go ahead. Once the inquest is complete and the cause of death has been established, registration can then take place.

The Coroner and their officers are working in your interest and will endeavour to keep you up to date with any issues which may affect the funeral arrangements. Should you need to speak with them, they can be contacted on 03330 135000.

deaths which must be reported to the coroner

  • If the person had not seen a doctor within the last two weeks of their life.
  • Deaths which occur within 24 hours of admission to hospital.
  • Deaths that may be linked to medical treatment, surgery or anaesthetic.
  • Deaths that may be linked to an accident, however long ago it happened.
  • All deaths of children and young people under 18, even if due to natural causes.  This is for safeguarding purposes.
  • If there is a possibility that the person took their own life.
  • If there are any suspicious circumstances or history of violence.
  • Deaths that may be linked to the person’s occupation, for example if they have been exposed to asbestos.
  • All deaths of people who are in custody or detained under the Mental Health Act, even if due to natural causes. This includes people living in care homes who are subject to Deprivation of Liberties Safeguarding.
  • Certain illnesses, including hepatitis and tuberculosis.