The Chief Coroner’s annual report makes for some interesting reading for the health and social care sector.
There were 386 prevention of future deaths reports issued between July 2019- June 2020 which represented a reduction from the previous year’s total of 505 such reports but this may be as a consequence of the three month lockdown period. The report notes a plan for coroners to attend further training on issues such as prevention of future deaths reports which suggests that there could be an increased focus on these reports being issued.
Inquests are supposed to happen as soon as practicable following a death and in any event no longer than a year post-death. There were almost 2,278 cases in 2018/19 which exceeded this timeframe against 29,100 opened inquests. The 2020 figures have not yet been finalised but this figure is likely to be significantly impacted by the delay caused by the lockdown which may continue to have an impact on the speed at which new inquests are held.