Forthcoming changes to coroner duty to undertake inquests
31 March 2017
From Monday 3rd April 2017 coroners will no longer have a duty to undertake an inquest into the death of every person who was subject to an authorisation under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
In these cases an inquest will still be required if the person died before April 3rd. However, for any person subject to a DoLS authorisation who dies on the 3rd, or any time after, their death need not be reported to the coroner unless the cause of death is unknown or where there are concerns that the cause of death was unnatural or violent, including where there is any concern about the care given having contributed to the persons death.
Any person with any concerns about how or why someone has come to their death can contact the coroner directly. This will not change where a person subject to a DoLS authorisation. What will change is that the coroner will no longer be duty bound to investigate every death where the deceased had a DoLS in place.
For more information on coroner services please see the Coroner Services Guides.