Medical Practitioners: Refer a death to the Coroner

If you’re a doctor, you should refer a death to the coroner if the following apply:

  1. You can’t state the likely cause of death
  2. You weren’t there when the deceased died
  3. You didn’t see the deceased within the 28 days before or after their death
  4. The cause of death isn’t natural
  5. The deceased was being detained, for example in police custody, when they died

Guidance on Death Reporting - 2019 regulations

The West Yorkshire Coroner's Office is in the process of moving to all death referrals from medical practitioners being submitted via the portal (details have already been sent to GPs), only in exceptional circumstances should the electronic form on this site be used, as this is currently being phased out. If you do require a reminder in relation to your portal log in details, please email

By using this function, you confirm that you are a registered health professional who is authorised to make a coronial referral.

On 1 October 2019 the Notification of Death Regulations 2019 came into force. This now provides a statutory categorisation of the circumstances in which a death should be reported to the Coroner. The Ministry of Justice and the Chief Coroner have produced guidance on the new regulations to help interpretation and understanding. This Coroner's Area has also produced a guide to the reporting of stillbirths and neonatal deaths. All documents are available to download from the links below.

The Office of National Statistics has also issued guidance on the medical terms and definitions to be used and avoided when preparing a Medical Certificate as to Cause of Death.

To refer a death to the Coroner, please complete this GP referral form (Word document, 103kb).

Completed forms should be emailed to

If you do need to speak with a Coroners Officer about referring a death, please contact them on 01274 373721 or send an email to and they will arrange for someone to call you back.

Please make sure that you tell others in your team if you intend to refer a death to the Coroner, so they don’t issue an MCCD (medical certificate of cause of death) in the meantime.

Letting the family know

If you’re referring a death to the Coroner, or know that a death will be referred, please explain to the family:

  1. That you aren’t issuing the MCCD
  2. Why you aren’t issuing the MCCD
  3. That they can’t register the death at this time
  4. That you have referred the death to the Coroner
  5. A member of the Coroner’s staff will contact them in the coming days to explain what will happen next.

Contact details

HM Coroner's Court
Cater Building
1 Cater Street

Phone : 01274 373721
Email :