When a death is reported to the coroner

Information about investigations, inquests and post mortems

If a post-mortem is needed

If the cause of death is still not known or appears unnatural or violent, the coroner will investigate to find out the cause of death. This may include a post-mortem. The post-mortem takes place in either a hospital or mortuary, and is done by a pathologist.

Sometimes the pathologist may ask for histology or toxicology tests to be done, if this will help find the cause of death. If this happens, we will discuss it with you, and give you options so that you can decide what you want to happen when the tissue or organs are no longer needed.

The coroner will release the body for a funeral once they have completed the post-mortem examinations and no further examinations are needed. The coroner will inform the registrar of the cause of death, and you can register the death.
In some cases, an investigation or inquest is needed.

For detailed information about what happens during a post-mortem, see Section 3 of the Guide to coroner services on GOV.UK.