Coroners Guidance Guidance
LMC Pastoral Support Service
The LMC provide the Pastoral Support Service to anyone who may need support with personal difficulties/professional matters (including inquests).
Ministry of Justice: Guide to Coroner Services
Ministry of Justice guidance document on Coroners Service.
MDU: Writing a report for the coroner guidance
As part of their inquests, coroners will often need written reports from those involved in the care of a deceased patient. Most doctors will have to produce at least one written report for a coroner during their professional career.
The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 introduced a power to require a witness to provide a statement. A good report is worth the effort; it can minimise the risk of the coroner asking for clarification, meaning you don’t have to attend the inquest. Your report could then be read out at the inquest in your absence.
Deaths that should be reported to the Coroner – Update from 1st October 2019
As a result of the Notification of Death Regulations a senior coroner should expect to receive notification of deaths in the following circumstances:
More details available here.
FYI: Implementation of the medical examiner system (Added January 2019)
From April 2019 a new medical examiner led system will begin to be rolled out within hospitals in England and Wales. The non-statutory system will introduce a new level of scrutiny whereby all deaths will be subject to either a medical examiner’s scrutiny or a coroner’s investigation.
Reforms to how death is certified is long overdue and was originally proposed over a decade ago following various independent reviews and reports stemming from the Harold Shipman murders.
After many years of delays, the government announced the introduction of the new system in 2018. The BMA have long supported the reforms and continue to engage with the government on the proposals and implementation.
BMA: Coroners' court fees and allowances (2018)
Doctors may be called by a coroner to give evidence at an inquest either as a professional or an expert witness, or as a pathologist who undertook the post-mortem.
Professional witnesses give medical evidence based on action taken in a professional capacity, based on clinical information on their own patients.
Expert witnesses may be called to give an expert opinion or advice in their own specialist field.
The Notification of Deaths Regulations 2019 - Added January 2020
GPs no longer have to report expected deaths for patients who have had invasive procedures within the last year where they have no bearing on the cause of death.
Read the full guidance here .
LMC Coroner’s Event: ‘How to prepare for an inquest’ – 8 November 2019
What follows is a report on the event held for GPs on 8 November 2019 by the LMC working with the coroner’s office, a very broad overview of the main areas covered and useful information for GPs and colleagues to be aware of.
Read more here.