The purpose of the Coroner’s inquest is to establish by way of evidence who died, when they died, where they died and HOW they died (in what circumstances).
When providing evidence to the coroner, YOU are assisting the coroner in determining who it is that has died, when, where and how they died (in what circumstances).
Your statement should state that the report is for HM Coroner for the Black Country and should be written in plain English, explaining any technical terms. It should be written in the first person and signed and dated.
What should a witness statement include?
- Your full name and current professional position and qualifications
- Your professional position at the time you were treating the deceased
- Your statement should be a chronological summary of YOUR involvement in the deceased’s care and should be broken down into short, numbered paragraphs and where possible include times as well as dates.
- Medical terminology should be explained in layman’s terms, where possible.
- The relevant history at the point of assessment/treatment
- Condition on assessment
- Outcome of investigations. If your statement refers to test results, it is important to indicate whether these results sit within or outside a normal range.
- The diagnosis (and the basis for it) and any treatment provided;
- Any complications that arose
- Progress and response to treatment
If the Coroner concludes that your statement is relevant to their investigation it must be shared with any interested party that asks for it. This might be in advance of or during the inquest.
Following the inquest, evidence may be given to anyone who, in the opinion of the Coroner, should have access to it.