Reporting deaths to the Coroner

Find out the circumstances upon which a death will be reported to the Coroner, and how this is done.

Deaths must be reported to the Coroner in certain circumstances.

These will include deaths:

  • where the deceased has not been seen by a doctor during his/her last illness
  • where the deceased has been seen by a doctor during the last illness but the doctor is not able or available to certify the death
  • that have an unknown cause of death
  • where the deceased was in state detention - this currently includes people who are subject to deprivation of liberty safeguarding order (DoLS) 

Effective 3 April 2017, The Policing and Crime Act 2017 included provisions which mean that Coroner Investigations are no longer required where a DoLS order is in place at the time of death, unless the death is sudden/unexpected or would warrant a coroner investigation for other reasons.

  • that occurred at work
  • that is due to an industrial disease or poisoning
  • that is sudden and unexplained
  • that is unnatural
  • that was due to violence or neglect
  • that is due to other suspicious circumstances

Referring a death to the Coroner

Deaths are usually reported to the Coroner via the police, a doctor, or a registrar.

It is also possible for other people to make a referral.

You can report a death to the Coroner by contacting us:

 

What happens next?

Once a referral is received the Coroner's Officer will contact people that have been involved in the care of the deceased and those that have knowledge of the circumstances of the death.

These enquiries will be carried out as soon as possible, but often will take several days.

During this time you are welcome to appoint a funeral director of your choice, but please advise them that the Coroner is involved.

In some cases, as a result of the enquiries made, the Coroner will decide that a post mortem is necessary.