What happens if the death is
referred to the coroner?
Why HM Coroner is involved
There are certain situations where the coroner needs to be informed.
Usually the GP or hospital doctor will refer the case to the Coroner. Occasionally the registrar may refer the case to the Coroner if they are not satisfied with the cause of death.
The coroner’s duty is to investigate and establish the cause of death when a doctor is unable to issue a death certificate. Procedures for registering the death differ when the coroner becomes involved. Should this be the case we are able to offer additional advice and information as necessary.
When the Coroner might be informed:
All deaths of children and young people under 18, even if due to natural causes.
This is for safeguarding purposes.
Deaths within 24 hours of admission to hospital
If the death was violent, unnatural
Or occurred under suspicious circumstances
If the cause of death is unknown or uncertain
If the death occurred while the patient was undergoing an operation
Or did not recover from an anaesthetic
If the death was caused by an industrial disease
If the death occurred in prison or police custody
What the coroner does:
Once reported, the Coroner's Officer or a police officer will usually take a statement from the next of kin or close relative and you may need to identify the deceased. The facts will then be presented to the Coroner who will decide if a post mortem needs to be carried out.
Proceeding with the funeral
We will liaise with the Coroner's Officer and keep you informed. Normally, the forms that we require for the funeral to take place will be issued by the coroner and either delivered to the crematorium or must be collected from the Registrar.
Formally registering the death
You will need to register the death at some stage to obtain certified copies of the Death Certificate for insurance companies, banks, building societies and solicitors. These are currently £4.00 each and you can purchase as many as you need.
If an inquest is to take place, you cannot register the death until the full inquest is over, but you can obtain an interim certificate from the Coroner to sort out financial matters.
Please get in touch - we're here to help
Crook 01388 765 069
Willington 01388 747 747
Durham 0191 377 8065