Amendment to Coroners and Justice Act

5 December 2016
‘We welcome the government’s decision to accept an amendment to the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 - introduced by our Chair of Trustees Baroness Ilora Findlay - that will remove the mandatory requirement for a coroner's inquest where the deceased was deprived of their liberty under the Mental Capacity Act.

In 2015, of the 7,183 deaths of people with Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), the vast majority of those were expected, anticipated and accepted by those close to the deceased and those responsible for care. These were not deaths that came as a surprise to anyone.

Therefore, when family and carers were told that the death was being referred to the coroner for an inquest they were often left shocked and worried that there was some sort of accusation against them. The distress of the bereaved, and the barriers that the inquests create in regards to funeral planning and grieving has become a common cause of complaint to the Department of Health and we are very pleased to see this amendment go some way to rectifying this. 

Importantly, nothing in the amendment removes the obligations to inform the coroner if there is any suspicion around a death.’ 

Link to Hansard website 
Mental Capacity Act workshops



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