The Black Country Coroner Service covers Sandwell, Walsall, Dudley and Wolverhampton. The Black Country Coroners Service will investigate a death which occurs in any of these areas, and:
- The cause of death is unknown
- The cause of death is unnatural; or
- The deceased was in a state of detention, eg police custody, at the time of their death.
The police, hospital bereavement services, individual GPs and doctors, and care homes will refer a death to the Coroner, where necessary. They'll give the Coroner some basic information about the death, the identity of the person who's died (the deceased) and their next of kin (closest living relatives), if known.
A member of the Coroner's staff will contact the deceased's next of kin in the days following the referral to ask them:
- for the deceased’s details, such as their full name, date of birth, address, occupation, marital status and medical history
- to confirm the circumstances of the death.
In some cases, no further investigations are needed.
When doesn't a Coroner need to investigate a death?
No further investigations will be needed by the Coroner if:
- preliminary enquiries reveal that a death was because of a natural cause
- the deceased (person who's died) wasn't in a state of detention, and
- a doctor is able to issue the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD).
If the above are the case, then the Coroner will send a Form A to the Registrar for Births, Deaths and Marriages and let the doctor know that they can issue the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD). The death can then be registered at the Register Office in the area where the death happened.
However, if a doctor can't say what the likely cause of death was or didn't treat the deceased during their last illness, then the Coroner will decide what investigations (such as a post mortem or Coroners Inquest) are needed and let the next of kin know