What is a coroner?
The coroner's role is to find out facts about a person's death, both for official records and for the benefit of the bereaved family and friends. The Senior Coroner for Teesside is Clare Bailey. The Teesside Senior Coroner's jurisdiction covers the local authority areas of Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, and Stockton.
When is a death reported to the coroner?
Not all deaths are reported to the coroner. The type of deaths which are referred to the coroner include those where:
- The cause of death is unknown
- The death was violent and unnatural
- The death was sudden and unexplained
- The person died in prison, police custody, or another type of state detention
- The death occurred during an operation or before the person came out of anaesthetic
What does the coroner do?
If a death is reported to the coroner, they must then establish:
- Who the deceased was (their identity)
- When the death occurred
- Where the death occurred
- How the death occurred
What happens next?
The coroner may decide that the cause of death is clear. In this case, the doctor will sign a medical certificate.
If the cause of death isn't clear, the coroner will order a post-mortem to be carried out.
If the post-mortem still doesn't establish the cause of death, the coroner will schedule an inquest. An inquest must also be held if the person is believed to have died a violent or unnatural death, or they died in prison or police custody. An inquest is used to investigate a death in more detail.
At the end of the inquest, the coroner will record who died, and when and where the death occurred. They will also record a legal verdict on the cause of death.
NHS Choices explains more about the inquest process, including the sort of causes of death a coroner can record.
The guide to coroner services document explains in detail the role of a coroner, and what to expect from the inquest process.
Phone: 01642 729350
Her Majesty's Coroner for Teesside
The Coroner's Service
Middlesbrough Town Hall
Monday to Thursday: 8:30am to 4pm
Friday: 8:30am to 3:30pm