The Coroner – Part 1

Mr Derek Winter DL

This month is the first in a two-part series looking at the work of the coroner. James Sira talks to Derek Winter about the role of the coroner, medical examiner, and the coroner’s inquest.  

Derek is HM Senior Coroner for the City of Sunderland and was appointed as one of the two Deputy Chief Coroners of England and Wales in 2019. He has conducted a wide range of cases in the 15 years he has spent as a coroner and has modernised the Sunderland coroner service. 

Most intensive care doctors will at some point in their career be required to provide a statement for or give evidence at a coroner’s inquest, and this can be a daunting experience.

The Coroner & The Medical Examiner 

In this podcast Derek talks about the roles of the coroner and medical examiner, and how to determine which deaths should be referred. 

Coroners and Justice Act 2009 

Office of the Chief Coroner 

The Notification of Deaths Regulations 2019 

The National Medical Examiner System 

Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) 

The Shipman Inquiry: Death Certification and the Investigation of Deaths by Coroners 

The Coroner’s Inquest 

Derek then goes on to talk about the coroner’s inquest, giving a clear and insightful account of the process and its purpose.  

Coroners and burials statistics 

Reports to prevent future deaths 

On 13 November 2020 the Supreme Court gave judgment in the case of Maughan.   By a majority of three to two the Supreme Court has ruled that all conclusions in coronial inquests, whether short form or narrative, are to be determined on what is known as the civil standard of proof: the balance of probabilities- more likely than not.