Her Majesty's Coroner
Who is the Coroner?
Her Majesty’s Coroner holds office under the Crown and is an independent judicial officer.
The Coroner has qualifications and will have substantial experience as a lawyer, a medical doctor, or sometimes both.
What is the Coroner's role?
Coroners are appointed by local authorities to investigate when the circumstances surrounding a death are unclear or unknown. This may include when:
The cause of death is unknown
The death was unnatural or violent
The person died in prison or custody
The identity of the person who has died is uncertain or unknown
A medical certificate isn’t available
The coroner’s job is to find out how, when and where the person died for official records, as well as for the benefit of the bereaved family.
The Coroner may be able to ascertain that death was due to a natural cause and that there is a doctor who is able to certify the cause of death. If this is not the case the Coroner arranges to have the body removed for an examination to be made.
The examination often shows that the death was due to natural causes and in such a case there is no inquest. Instead, the Coroner sends a certificate to the Registrar of Deaths so that the death can be registered. Alternatively, after registering the death, the Registrar can issue a certificate for burial or cremation.
The following guidance is helpful in understanding the Coroner and the processes they undertake.
What is a Post Mortem?
A post mortem is ordered when no doctor has treated the deceased during his or her last illness; or when the doctor attending the patient did not see him or her within 14 days before death. A post mortem can also be ordered when a death occurs during an operation or immediately after or when the death was sudden and unexplained or by suspicious circumstances. Deaths as a result of an industrial injury will also result in a Coroners investigation and a post mortem.
Virtual Autopsy - CT Scan
From 1st November, 2017 if a post-mortem investigation is required by HM Coroner for Leicester City and South Leicestershire to establish the cause of death, pathologists at the Leicester Royal Infirmary will determine what approach is required.
The least invasive approach, including using PMCT will be taken whenever possible, although where there are important questions that PMCT cannot answer, a traditional invasive post-mortem examination will still need to be performed.
Some of the certificates the Corner will issue
A' certificate (Form 100A) - When a doctor has informed a coroner of the death but the doctor has been given permission by the coroner to issue a Medical Certificate, you will receive the Medical Certificate and Formal Notice. There may also be an ‘A' certificate. This is a form from the coroner informing the registrar that they are aware of the death but no further investigation is necessary and permission has been given to the doctor to issue the Medical Certificate. In Leicester this is delivered by the coroner's service direct to the registrar of births and deaths.
Notification by the Coroner (Pink form B / form 100) - If the coroner has ordered a post mortem examination but there is no requirement for an inquest, the coroner will send this to the registrar. This is instead of the Medical Certificate from a doctor.
Order for Burial (form 101) - When there is to be an inquest and the person is going to be buried the coroner has to give permission for the funeral to proceed. This is usually collected by the funeral director from the coroner's service on your behalf.
Removal Notice (form 104) - When the body is going to be moved out of England and Wales. This is sometimes called the ‘Out of England' form and will often be collected by the funeral director on your behalf.
If the coroner cannot issue Form 100 because the post-mortem examination results are inconclusive so the coroner's investigation is on-going or there is to be an inquest, there is also a form to help you with administration of the estate called a Coroner's Certificate of the Fact of Death. This is often referred to as an interim certificate as it takes the place of a certified copy of the death certificate until the coroner's investigation or inquest is concluded and the death can be registered.
Contacting the Coroner
The Coroner’s Court
Town Hall Square
08.30am - 4.00pm. Monday to Thursday
08.30am - 3.30pm. Friday
Telephone - 0116 454 1031
HM Coroner - Website