Coroners and mortuary
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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)
Coroner's service contact details
Senior coroner – Chinyere Inyama
Coroner’s officer manager – Shonagh Ross
Clerk to the coroner – Kathy Bent
020 8753 6800 / 6802
25 Bagleys 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. The mortuary also provides facilities for bodies to be viewed by relatives.
Mortuary contact details
Mortuary manager - David Colvin
020 7731 4147
Fulham Public Mortuary
200 Townmead Road