Coroner's Post-mortem Examination

It is advisable to notify the Coroner's Officer (225 5770) if any of the following situations apply:
  1. The cause of death is unknown
  2. Patients who die in Casualty or who are brought in dead
  3. Death within 24 hours of admission
  4. Death within 48 hours of an operation
  5. If the patient has suffered a recent fall
  6. There is suspicion of poisoning (occupational, therapeutic, accidental, suicidal, homicidal).
  7. Industrial diseases eg.asbestos-related
  8. Road traffic collisions
If you are unsure whether or not to refer a death, cases can be discussed with a pathologist (via the Department Office) or (informally) with the Coroner's Officer (225 5770). Staff in the Bereavement Office (located in the Mortuary) may also be able to offer advice. It is helpful if a post-mortem (necropsy) request form can be completed for Coroner's cases to guide the pathologist and to enable him/her to contact you if necessary.
If you have the opportunity to speak to the patient's relatives soon after the patient's death, it is helpful to explain to them the reason why the death is being referred to the Coroner and the likely sequence of events. If you are unsure about the process please discuss this with staff in the Bereavement Office or a Pathologist.
Do not refer to 'post-mortems' as 'inquests' as this can cause unnecessary distress to relatives. Most post-mortem examinations performed for the Coroner reveal a natural cause of death and no inquest is necessary.