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Coroners service intro

A Coroner’s job is to investigate unexplained deaths and conduct an inquest where necessary. This page provides information on the coroner’s service in Northumberland and how to contact the Coroner's Office.

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Police, GP's and Hospital Staff only

Please click here to refer a death to the Coroner


The coroner is appointed to investigate unexplained deaths, and to conduct inquests where necessary. Coroners can also arrange for post-mortem examinations.

Which deaths are reported to the coroner? 

Deaths will be reported if they were: 

  • sudden or unexplained 
  • unnatural  
  • during an operation, or from not recovering from anaesthetic 
  • due to an industrial disease 
  • in prison or in police custody  

What happens if the death is referred to the coroner? 

  • The circumstances of the death may be discussed with the relatives of the deceased. 
  • It will be decided if a post-mortem is necessary. 
  • If the coroner requires more information about the circumstances, an inquest will be held. 
  • Any paperwork necessary to register the death will be issued by the coroner. 

What is an inquest? 

  • An enquiry into the medical cause and circumstances of a death. 
  • As the conclusion of inquests can take some time, the coroner may issue an interim death certificate. 
  • An interim certificate can be presented to anyone asking for a death certificate, but you may be asked to produce the actual certificate once the death has been registered. 

After the inquest, how do I get a copy of the death certificate? 

  • When the inquest has concluded, you can contact the registrar (in the district where the death took place) and arrange to order a certificate. 
  • There is a charge of £11 for each certificate. 

Do I have to go into the register office for a copy of the death certificate? 

  • No - you can order certificates online via the website ( or on the phone by calling us on 0345 600 6400. You must have your credit/debit card handy. 

Please click here for contact details for your local register office

Please click here for Northumberland Registrars Bereavement Guide. guide to Coroner Services 

The government have recently published a guide for bereaved people. The guide includes information about coroner investigation and inquest processes, as well as useful links to services which will provide you with help and support.    Please click here for the Guide to Coroner Services on Gov.UK


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