If a death occurs and was subject to one of the following conditions, the death may be reported to the coroner for the area in which the death occurred:
• cause of death is unknown.
• death was violent or unnatural.
• death was sudden and unexplained.
• Person who died in hospital had been an inpatient for less than 24 hours.
• person who died was not visited by a medical practitioner during their final illness.
• medical certificate is not available.
• person who died was not seen by the doctor who signed the medical certificate within 14 days before death or after they died.
• death occurred during an operation or before the person came out of anaesthetic.
• medical certificate suggests the death may have been caused by an industrial disease or industrial poisoning
If the death is anywhere other than a hospital ward, the coroner will usually arrange for a Police officer to obtain information regarding the death, the officer will usually attend the death and talk to you or other people in attendance at the time of death. Once the required information has been obtained it will be forwarded to the coroner for consideration. The police officer will also arrange for the deceased to be transferred into the coroner’s care whilst these enquires are made. The officer will offer you the services of the on-call duty funeral director to do this (or locally will give you the opportunity to appoint your own funeral director).
At Roberts Bros we form part of the on-call rota of funeral directors used in Wrexham County Borough and we are therefore available whenever you or the coroner need our services. The cost of this transfer is paid by the coroner, and you are under no obligation to use any Funeral Director who attends you on behalf of the Coroners service.
The coroner may decide that the cause of death is clear. In this case:
1. The doctor signs a medical certificate.
2. You take the medical certificate to the registrar.
3. The coroner issues a certificate to the registrar stating a post-mortem is not needed.
If a Post-mortem is required.
The coroner may decide a post-mortem is needed to find out how the person died. This can be done either in a hospital or mortuary.
You cannot object to a coroner’s post-mortem - but if you’ve asked the coroner must tell you (and the person’s GP) when and where the examination will take place.
After the post-mortem
The coroner will release the body for a funeral once they have completed the post-mortem examinations and no further examinations are needed.
If the body is released with no inquest, the coroner will send a form (‘Pink Form - form 100B’) to the registrar stating the cause of death.
The coroner will also send a ‘Certificate of Coroner - form Cremation 6’ if the body is to be cremated.
If the coroner decides to hold an inquest
A coroner must hold an inquest if the cause of death is still unknown, or if the person:
• possibly died a violent or unnatural death
• died in prison or police custody
You cannot register the death until after the inquest. The coroner is responsible for sending the relevant paperwork to the registrar.
The death cannot be registered until after the inquest, but the coroner can give you an interim death certificate to prove the person is dead. You can use this to let organisations know of the death and apply for probate.
When the inquest is over the coroner will tell the registrar what to put in the register.
More information regarding the Coroners service in Wales and England is available - CLICK HERE