Written evidence submitted by the Royal College of Pathologists (COR0005)


The Death Investigations Committee (DIC) at the Royal College of Pathologists was interested to see the discussion that took place during the oral evidence session on 5 May 2020, Management of the Coronavirus Outbreak, HC 36, on death certification and lack of clarity and requests for testing after death.

The DIC has raised a number of points that may be of interest in response to the discussion:




post-mortem reports, from the small number of COVID-19 post mortem examinations which have been done, our aim is to help inform the treatment of patients and support research to help develop new treatments. This initiative has the support of the Chief Coroner and the Coroners’ Society of England and Wales.



The DIC has wider, longstanding concerns relating to the poor state of our coronial post mortem service.

These concerns were highlighted by the Hutton Review of Forensic Pathology in England and Wales, commissioned by the Home Office (published November 2015). Professor Hutton identified that overall death investigation systems in this country are inadequate.

The DIC would welcome the opportunity to explain these concerns to you at a future date.



          May 2020