This review seeks to find out whether the coroner reforms are operating as planned and whether there have been any unintended consequences.
The key areas of change were the following:
- the publication of statutory guidance, the “Guide to Coroners Services”, for bereaved people (available from coroners’ offices and on gov.uk)
- a requirement that coroners disclose information that bereaved people request during an investigation, free of charge
- a requirement for all inquests to be recorded
- a requirement that coroners are available at all times to address matters which must be dealt with immediately
- a requirement that bereaved people and other interested persons are notified of inquest arrangements and any changes within a week of the arrangements or changes made
- flexibility of the location for inquests and post-mortem examinations which may now be held anywhere in England and Wales rather than being restricted to the coroner’s area
The Government’s response will be published in early 2016.