Why is the Coroner involved?
The Birmingham and Solihull Coroner Service looks into someone’s death if they died within the Birmingham and Solihull area, and:
- The cause of death is unknown
- The cause of death is unnatural; or
- The deceased was in a state of detention, eg police custody, at the time of their death.
The police, hospital bereavement services, individual GPs and doctors, and care homes will refer a death to the Coroner, where necessary. They'll give the Coroner some basic information about the death, the identity of the person who's died (the deceased) and their next of kin (closest living relatives), if known.
A member of the Coroner's staff will contact the deceased's next of kin in the days following the referral to ask them:
- for the deceased’s details, such as their full name, date of birth, address, occupation, marital status and medical history
- to confirm the circumstances of the death.
In some cases, no further investigations are needed.
However, if a doctor can't say what the likely cause of death was or didn't treat the deceased during their last illness, then the Coroner will decide what investigations (such as a post mortem or Coroner's Inquest) are needed and let the next of kin know.