When a death is reported to the coroner

What happens when a death is reported to the coroner

When the death is reported to the coroner, they need to make enquiries to find out what happened and how the person died. The coroner will then decide either:

  • the cause of death is clear
  • that a post-mortem is needed
  • to hold an inquest

Why has the death been reported to the coroner?

Not all deaths are reported to the coroner. In most cases the doctor is able to provide a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD). You can then register the death.

Some deaths must be reported to the coroner, such as:

  • violent or unnatural death
  • sudden deaths with no known cause
  • reported deaths in custody

For a full list of what types of deaths need to be reported, see the Revised Notification of Deaths Regulations 2019 guidance on GOV.UK (published 26 March 2020).

How we will communicate with you

We understand that this is a difficult time, and we will do our best to provide a compassionate and professional service. If a death is reported to the coroner, one of our coroner's officers will be in touch with you. They will keep you informed of the process every step of the way and will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

For a list of the most frequently asked questions, see the Guide to coroner services on GOV.UK.

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