Whenever a post-mortem shows a death is not from natural causes, there has to be an inquest. Even where a death is due to natural causes, an inquest may still be necessary, for example, if the deceased was in state detention, either under arrest or in prison. Different procedures can also apply, depending on where the death took place.
It is vital you or your organisation receive the right advice and representation at every stage.
Our specialist team of lawyers has many years of experience dealing with inquests and will give you sensible, practical advice to help guide you through each stage of the process. We can even work with you to act positively and make changes to working practices in advance of a hearing to reduce the risk of a Prevention of Future Deaths (PFD) report being issued and to ensure that measures to avert future deaths are implemented without delay.
We help clients to understand their obligations and to respond appropriately to all types of inquests and inquiries, helping them to fulfil their responsibilities while protecting their position as witnesses or interested parties.
We also provide specialist support on related matters such as civil or criminal proceedings, regulatory issues and health and safety prosecutions.
Good Medical Practice 2013 requires doctors to notify the General Medical Council (GMC) if they are criticised by the coroner at an inquest. It is of course also open to a deceased patient’s family or the coroner themselves to notify the GMC if they have concerns.
We are experienced in assisting witnesses to draft witness statements and can advise you on inquest procedure and the issues you may face when called to give evidence . We offer sensible and practical advice, and can help you decide whether to accept representation which may be provided by your employer, or whether it may be necessary to instruct your own lawyer.
We also regularly act as advocates at the coroner’s court at pre inquest reviews and the inquest itself. Our breadth of experience in working with healthcare professionals and health and care organisations/providers means that we can advise on any further investigations which might arise from the coroner’s inquest, such as criminal proceedings or referrals to your regulator.