If someone dies unexpectedly at home or in a care home, or if the likely cause of death may be related to their job, the deceased may need to be taken into the care of the Coroner.
This may happen straight away on the instruction of the attending doctor or medical professional or the deceased may be transferred to a funeral home, awaiting a discussion between the Coroner and the deceased’s GP on the next working day.
It may be necessary for the police to attend before the deceased is transferred – the police are working on behalf of the Coroner and this does not mean that a criminal investigation is taking place.
Coroners’ procedures for deaths in the community in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire differ.
The Nottinghamshire Coroner’s Service arranges for the deceased to be transferred into their care by their contracted funeral director. This Funeral Director is not permitted to make any approach to families regarding carrying out funeral arrangements because they are working for the Coroner, and there is no obligation for the family to use the services of this Funeral Director, after the Coroner has completed their investigations.
In Derbyshire, you may ask the police to contact the funeral director of your choice to transfer the deceased to the hospital mortuary. If you do not have a preference, or if your chosen Funeral Director is not available, a Funeral Director will be contacted by the police to conduct the transfer.++
If a death occurs in a hospital and is referred to the Coroner, the deceased will either remain in hospital, or be transferred to a different hospital for a post mortem examination.
Not all Coroner’s investigations involve a post mortem examination; if there are recent scans or test results which clearly indicate the cause of death, these may be used by the Coroner instead of a post mortem.
Once the Coroner has conducted their investigations and given clearance for the removal of the deceased from the mortuary, you may appoint your chosen funeral director to transfer the deceased into their care and to make arrangements for the funeral.