When a death is referred to HM Coroner

Some deaths are referred to HM Coroner, for example where the cause of death is unknown, there are grounds for thinking the death may have been due to an injury or some unnatural cause eg industrial disease, the effects of drugs, an injury or the cause is not known.

When a death is referred to HM Coroner they may request a post mortem examination.  HM Coroner will decide whether an inquest is required, to establish the cause of death.  An inquest is a “fact finding” exercise which normally aims to determine the circumstances of someone’s death.

Our Bereavement Officers will inform you if we have referred the death to HM Coroner.  You will then receive a call from one of HM Coroner’s officers to explain their role and discuss what happens next.  When a death has been referred to HM Coroner, the hospital is unable to act until we have been informed of what action HM Coroner has decided to take.

HM Coroner is a judicial office holder who is independent from the hospital and local government.

If we do not refer a death to HM Coroner, but you have concerns about the treatment we provided, you can ask HM Coroner to consider holding an inquest.  It is important to do this as soon as possible after your loved one has died, as delays in requesting an inquest may mean that opportunities for HM Coroner to hold a post mortem are lost.

If you would like to contact HM Coroner’s Officers:-


HM Coroner for West Yorkshire (Eastern)

71 Northgate

Tel: 01924 302180
Email: hmcoroner@wakefield.gov.uk


HM Coroner for West Yorkshire (Western)

City Courts
The Tyrls

Tel: 01274 391362
Email: hmc@bradford.gov.uk


Support when an Inquest is taking place

The Coroners’ Courts Support Service is a voluntary organisation which supports people who are attending an inquest.  They can be contacted via a helpline on 0300 111 2141 or via email on info@ccsupport.org.uk.

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