Sudden death investigations

When a death occurs suddenly, a coroner will normally investigate the death.

The coroner will investigate deaths in the following situations:

  • the deceased had dementia, was living in a care home and was subject to a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard Order
  • the deceased was not attended by a doctor during the last illness or the doctor treating the deceased had not seen him or her after death or within the 14 days before the death
  • the death was violent or unnatural or occurred under suspicious circumstances
  • the cause of death is unknown or uncertain
  • the death occurred while the patient was undergoing an operation or did not recover from the anaesthetic
  • the death was caused by industrial disease
  • the death occurred in prison or in police custody

The coroner may arrange a post mortem examination. The relatives consent is not required, but they can be represented at the examination by a doctor.

If the examination shows that the death was due to natural causes, the coroner will provide the relevant paperwork to the registrar and the family can then register the death.

If an inquest is required, the coroner will inform the family directly.

Further information about inquests can be obtained from the register office, your local police station or from the coroner.

To contact the coroner please see the contact information on the Reading Borough Council website.

Details about inquests being held can be found on the forthcoming inquests page on the Reading Borough Council website.

Contact information

Bracknell Forest Register Office

Make an enquiry