Coroner's Procedure

For most families the coroner’s procedure is a new one. Preparing for an inquest can be difficult, especially on top of the distress caused by the death. The coroner’s role is to find out who died and how, when and where. Coroners are usually lawyers, but sometimes they can be doctors.

Here To Help with the Coroners Procedure

Our experienced team are here to help families through every step of the coroner’s procedure. Although the process can sometimes appears daunting, the coroner’s office are responsive and can help you answer any questions you may have.

Coroner Referrals

For bereaved families, the coroner’s procedure can seem a long and arduous process. Understanding the coroners’ system, your rights and what is expected of you may help to ease the strain at a difficult time. If your loved one's passing has been referred to the coroner please don’t worry, as there are a number of reasons why a death may be reported or referred, none of which should necessarily give cause for concern or distress.

If a loved one has been taken into the coroner’s care, a date for the funeral cannot be made until coroner has completed their investigation. The coroner will review the information and will discuss the case with the deceased’s doctors. They may decide that a post-mortem examination is not required, in which case the death will be referred back to the hospital doctors or GP. Reasons for referral to a coroner include:

  • The deceased hasn’t been seen by their doctor during their last illness or within the final 14 days
  • Death occurred during an operation or before the deceased came around from the anaesthetic
  • Cause of death is unknown
  • Cause of death suggests it may have been caused by an industrial disease or industrial poisoning
  • Death was sudden or unexplained
  • Death was due to violence or an unnatural cause

The Coroner's Process

You, or anyone else, may report the death to the coroner if you have concerns about it. Doctors or medical examiners, the police and registrars of births and deaths will report deaths to a coroner in the circumstances listed above. If you have any knowledge or concerns about the how the death happened you should tell the coroner’s office as soon as possible. This information may be important for the medical investigation and tests that are carried out. Under the law, the coroner has temporary legal control of the body while they are carrying out their investigation.


Stage One of the Coroners Procedure

A death may be reported to the coroner who investigates and then decides that no further action is required. The coroner would then instruct the doctor to issue the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD). From this point the normal registration procedure can be followed.

Stage Two of the Coroners Procedure

If the coroner decides that a MCCD cannot be issued then a post mortem examination would be performed. Following this examination the cause of death may be clear, which if so, the coroner would release the deceased into the care of the funeral director. The coroner would send notification directly to the registrar regarding the cause of death, therefore no MCCD would be issued. From this point the normal registration procedure can be followed. If a cremation has been chosen a Green Certificate would not be issued by the registrar.

Stage Three of the Coroners Procedure

If the coroner cannot establish the cause of death following the post-mortem examination, if the death was a result of violence, an unnatural death or if the death occurred in prison or police custody, then an inquest will be opened and adjourned, once the coroner is satisfied that sufficient evidence has been gathered. At this point the coroner would release the deceased into the care of the funeral director and issue the appropriate paperwork for the funeral to take place. Interim Certificates of Fact of Death would be issued to the relatives. These can be used to notify organisations such as banks etc. The death cannot be registered until after the inquest has been held. The coroner will send the appropriate paperwork to the registrar and inform them of what to put in the register. The family will not attend the registry office.


With a proud sixty year history of caring for local families through times of bereavement, our qualified funeral directors will always be here for you, treating your loved one as if they were our own.

Gainsborough Funeral Home
  • Cliff Bradley & Sons
    41 Heaton Street
    DN21 2EA
Saxilby Funeral Home
  • Cliff Bradley & Sons
    39 High Street
    LN1 2HA

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