Chief Coroner Guidance No. 23 – Report of Death

Chief CoronerCoroners' CourtPractice Guidance

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  1. The Chief Coroner has drafted a template form for a doctor reporting a death to the coroner by electronic means. The form is attached.
  2. Many senior coroners have their own forms. Some do not. The Chief Coroner’s form does not have to be used to replace other forms. It is simply intended as a guide for coroners and local authorities where no form is used.
  3. The form may be used as a Word document and sent to the coroner’s office by email or it may be used as the basis for a web-based solution on the local authority website. Some coroners use the latter as part of a ‘paperless’ office approach. Some have persuaded hospitals to use software that populates some information automatically from hospital records on to a referral form.
  4. In any event, the Chief Coroner now expects death referrals to be completed electronically. He requests senior coroners and their local authorities to take all necessary steps to achieve this. A referral form provides a permanent written and early record in the words of the doctor (not in the words of a coroner’s officer interpreting a doctor’s words on the phone). It concentrates the doctor’s mind on the important details in advance of communication with the coroner. It reduces the number of telephone calls to the coroner’s office and saves the time of coroners’ officers.

Read the full Guidance and see the form below.