H M Coroners' Service in Hampshire

The Coroner is an independent judicial officer, appointed by the local authority

H M Coroners' Service in Hampshire

Following national guidance and current exceptional circumstances, the Senior Coroner has taken the difficult decision to adjourn all hearings with a jury. To protect ourselves and others through social distancing, it would be inappropriate to hold any other sustained hearings involving multiple participants for the foreseeable future.

Inquests will proceed where there is no need to call witnesses to attend for the foreseeable future, subject to the wider demands on the coroner service as circumstances evolve. All other inquests will be adjourned to a later date. All families affected by these changes are in the process of being individually advised.

For those inquests which will take place, video technology or telephone facilities, wherever possible, will be used to enable families to participate. The Coroner’s Officer will contact those involved directly to make the necessary arrangements.

Members of the press will only be able to attend a hearing by phone link and are asked to contact Claire.dick@hants.gov.uk to arrange this.

During this time, we would be grateful if you did not contact the office to enquire whether your inquest will be going ahead. Please be assured you will be notified in due course if your hearing is affected by these changes.

 

The Coroner has a duty to investigate deaths:

  • which are unnatural or violent
  • where the cause of death is unknown
  • where the person died in prison, police custody or state detention

Following the report of a sudden or unexpected death, the Coroner must establish the cause of death. A post mortem examination may be carried out by a pathologist if the Coroner decides that this is necessary.

GOV.UK guide to Coroner services and investigations

Book an appointment to register a death

Post mortem

If a post mortem is necessary, it is usually performed 3 to 4 working days after removal. One of the Coroner's Officers will contact you to explain the procedure and advise a likely timescale in this particular case.

Death certificate

The deceased's GP may be able to issue a medical cause of death certificate (MCCD), subject to approval from the Coroner. A Coroner's Officer will make contact with the GP in the first instance to make these enquiries.

Funeral arrangements

If you, or another member of the immediate family, would like to arrange a viewing prior to the funeral, we recommend that you wait until after the examination and arrange a viewing at your chosen funeral director's chapel of rest.

If the death is found to be due to natural causes, the Coroner can release the deceased to your chosen funeral directors. You should tell the Coroner's Office who you have chosen to take care of funeral arrangements as soon as possible to avoid any delay in release.

Inquest

If the death is not due to natural causes, an inquest will be necessary. The Coroner will provide further details of the procedures which follow.

List of inquests

Coroner's offices

Aldershot, Alton, Andover, Basingstoke, Eastleigh, Farnborough, Fleet, New Forest, Romsey, Southampton and Winchester

Senior Coroner Mr C C Wilkinson

Central, North-East and Southampton & New Forest

The Castle Winchester SO23 8UL

Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm

Portsmouth, Havant, Fareham, Gosport, Petersfield

Senior Coroner Mr C C Wilkinson

Portsmouth and South East

The Coroners Court 1 Guildhall Square Portsmouth PO1 2AJ

Monday to Friday, 9am to 4.30pm