The MOJ have recently released the Coroners statistics for 2019 for England & Wales on the 14th May 2020*.
The statistics confirm:
- The lowest level of deaths reported to coroners since 1998, at 210,912
- Of those 1,939 were reports of deaths that had occurred outside England & Wales
- 40% of all registered deaths were reported to coroners
- Post mortem examinations were carried out on 39% of all deaths reported at 82,072. 5,044 post-mortems conducted using less-invasive techniques such as CT scans
- 30,000 inquests were opened, up 3% compared to 2018
- There were 527 inquests held with juries an increase of 104 compared to 2018
- 31,300 inquest conclusions were recorded in total.
Of note, the statistics only cover the calendar year January to December 2019. It will not include any reported deaths to the coroner that may have arisen due to COVID-19. Whether there is a marked increased in reported deaths due to COVID-19 will not be known until the statistics are published in May 2021. Recent guidance from the Chief Coroner is that COVID-19 deaths do not necessarily need to be reported to the coroner as they are natural. The increase in jury inquests reflects an increasing scope for Article 2 inquests.
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