Coroners and mortuary
Lists of hearings are published on the West London Coroner Court website.
The West London Coroner District covers six London boroughs: Hillingdon, Ealing, Hounslow, Richmond, Kingston and Hammersmith & Fulham. The lead authority is Hammersmith & Fulham.
The coroner's officers are employed by the police, while the coroner is a council appointment. Not all deaths will go through the coroner and not every death referred to the coroner will require a full investigation or inquest.
When a person dies, where required, a referral will be sent to the coroner. This may not always happen the same day as the death, but should be within 48 hours. The referral would normally come from a medical professional, such as a GP.
Once we receive a referral, there will be an initial investigation into the circumstances of the death by a coroner’s officer. This is so the facts of the death can be presented to the coroner to make a decision on the next steps. The decision could be:
- No further action: if a GP has seen the deceased within 14 days and there is a clear deterioration in health. This can be signed off by the coroner with no need for further investigation or a post mortem. This process can take around three days in order for the coroner’s officer to gather all the relevant information necessary for the coroner. The majority of deaths require no further action.
- Part A: this is a certificate for cause of death where the deceased may not have been seen by a GP within the last 14 days. For example someone who has been in long term palliative care where a district nurse may have been the main carer and seen the deceased, but not a GP. This process will also take about three days.
- Post mortem: this will take place where there is no clear cause of death and could apply to any death. However, the deceased can be released shortly after the post mortem has taken place, once signed off by the coroner. This could take up to a week after the referral of the death. Following the post mortem there will be an investigation, which may lead to an inquest.
Families will be contacted by a coroner’s officer, but this may not be immediately after the death as the coroner’s officer will need to investigate the death first so they can inform the family of the full facts and next steps.
Depending on the complexity of the case you may be contacted within a couple of days with an outcome, but it may take longer.
For applications to remove a body from England, the coroner will need the original passport, driving licence or birth certificate of the deceased person. If you do not have any of these original documents, please advise the coroner’s officer as soon as possible.
For more information on coroner’s services generally please see the Ministry of Justice booklet Guide to Coroner Services (pdf).
The Coroners’ Courts Support Service (CCSS) is an independent voluntary organisation whose trained volunteers offer emotional support and practical help to bereaved families, witnesses and others attending an Inquest at the Coroner’s Court.
Coroner's service contact details
020 8753 4422 / 2737
We have three referral teams who deal with deaths in each of the six boroughs, covered by the West London Jurisdiction.
Please contact the appropriate team, depending on the borough where the death occurred:
For deaths in Ealing or Hillingdon
020 8753 6519 / 020 8753 4784 / 020 8753 6539 / 020 8753 6928
For deaths in Hammersmith, Fulham or Hounslow
020 8753 6448 / 020 8735 2502 / 020 875 2811
For deaths in Richmond or Kingston
020 8753 5276 / 020 8753 5135 / 020 8753 2205 / 020 8753 2502
West London Coroner's Court
25 Bagley's Lane
Fulham Broadway on the District line. The Coroners' Court is located next to the Bagleys Lane depot.
There is a ramp to the entrance and a lift to the second floor.
The mortuary provides safe and secure storage facilities of bodies including a post-mortem room, allowing post-mortem examinations to be conducted on behalf of the coroner.
Notice of body storage charges to funeral directors
Due to increasing pressures on mortuary storage, we are introducing storage charges to funeral directors from Friday 20 March 2020.
A daily fee of £30 per day will be payable if the deceased is not collected 72 hours after the notification for release has been issued by the Coroner. The charges will apply until such time that the body is collected.
Please note that mortuary does not accept any responsibility for decomposition of the deceased within our refrigerated storage.
Please liaise with the Coroner’s Officer if you have any difficulty adhering to this policy.
Fulham Mortuary is a Designated Disaster Mortuary and with the current Covid-19 virus, storage must be cleared as soon as possible.
Thank you for your co-operation.
Mortuary contact details
Mortuary manager - Tracy Spillett
020 7731 4147
Fulham Public Mortuary
200 Townmead Road
Opening hours from 16 November 2020 will be 7am to 3pm Monday to Friday
Losing someone you are close to can be deeply distressing, both immediately after the death, and later on. Your loss is unique, and people cope with loss in their own ways.
Although bereavement is a highly personal event, many people go through a range of recognisable reactions and emotions when someone they are close to dies, such as feeling sad, angry or betrayed. These feelings are a normal part of the grieving process and coming to terms with loss. You can find more information and advice about bereavement on the People First website and from The Good Grief Trust.
A guide to the work of the Coroner is available from the Ministry of Justice website.