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Call for evidence

The Coroner Service

Background

The Coroner Service exists to identify the deceased in a local area and ascertain causes of death. Coroners must investigate deaths that have been reported to them if they think that: the death may have been violent or unnatural; the cause of death is unknown or the person died in prison, police custody or another type of state detention.

Coroners are organised and funded locally. There are 88 coroner areas in England and Wales, each staffed differently. Most have a full-time senior coroner, though some have area coroners, and others assistant coroners (minimum 15 days per year). Each will have different staffing levels for administration and investigation. Not all have a dedicated court. COVID-19 is likely to have placed additional pressures on the Coroner Service. In 2019, 40% (210,9000) of all registered deaths were reported to coroners, 82,100 of these led to post-mortems, 30,000 of which proceeded to full inquests.

Please send us your views on some or all of the following by 2nd September 2020:

  1. The extent of unevenness of Coroners services, including local failures, and the case for a National Coroners Service
  2. The Coroners Service’s capacity to deal properly with multiple deaths in public disasters
  3. Ways to strengthen the Coroners’ role in the prevention of avoidable future deaths
  4. How the Coroners Service has dealt with COVID 19
  5. Progress with training and guidance for Coroners
  6. Improvements in services for the bereaved
  7. Fairness in the Coroners system

This call for written evidence has now closed.

Go back to The Coroner Service Inquiry