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.

Examples include deaths:

  • that are sudden or unexplained
  • that are unnatural
  • that occurred at work
  • where the deceased was in state detention

Read further guidance from the government:

Reporting a death to the Coroner

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Mr Nigel Parsley, HM Senior Coroner for Suffolk has published clarification relating to COVID-19.
Read the letter here. (18 March 2020).

The police, a doctor, or a registrar can report a death to the Coroner.

The Notification of Deaths Regulations 2019 came into force on 1 October 2019, which requires any referral to be made in writing.

How a doctor needs to report a death

Doctors can report referable deaths using the secure referral portal below.

The online portal can be accessed using Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.

Other people can make a referral by:

You cannot report a death by phone.

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.

In the majority of cases the Coroner will determine that death was as a result of natural causes and you will not be unduly delayed in registering the death and making funeral arrangements.  The Coroner’s officer will advise you if there are any delays on release of the deceased.

Bereavement support

A list of organisations offering support and advice for adults and children on coping with a death.

List of bereavement support services
Organisation How they can help

Bereaved by Suicide Service

0808 16 89 111

Losing a loved one to suicide is an extremely traumatic experience. Bereaved by Suicide Service aims to ease the distress and improve the wellbeing of those in Suffolk

(with the exception of the Waveney area) and Colchester and Tendring who have been bereaved by suicide. They provide emotional support, practical help and signposting to other organisations.

The Bereavement Register

Helps to reduce the amount of direct mail sent to the address of a person who has died.

The Coroners' Courts Support Service

A registered charity whose volunteers give emotional and practical support to families and other witnesses attending inquests.

Suffolk Coroner's Service works with the charity to ensure families feel supported through the inquest process.

Cruse Bereavement Care

Provides support, advice and information to children, young people and adults when someone dies.


Provides free and independent advice to bereaved people following a death in state care or detention in England and Wales.

The Lullaby Trust

Offers confidential bereavement support to anyone affected by the sudden and unexpected death of a baby or young child.

The Money Advice Service 

Free and impartial money advice, including information about paying for a funeral.