Deaths in care homes and independent healthcare

Is your organisation faced with an upcoming inquest? Have you been asked to provide a report to a coroner? Are you required to attend an inquest as a witness?

As an experienced solicitor-advocate, Errol Archer usually represent clients personally at inquests but also works with a number of experienced barristers who we can call on as required.

The purpose and nature of an inquest

The overriding purpose of an inquest is to answer the following four questions:

  1. what the name of the individual is;
  2. when they met their death;
  3. where they me their death; and
  4. how they met their death. In certain cases the coroner will also inquire as to “in what circumstances” they met their death.

It is not the role of an inquest to find fault with any individual or organisation or to attribute blame to any party. The coroner investigates, makes enquiries and questions witnesses at the hearing, with a view to answering the four questions.

Strategic considerations

As an owner of or leader in your organisation, it is important to be aware of the strategic considerations when preparing for and attending an inquest, for example:

  • are there any steps that you should take to improve aspects of your service in light of the death?
  • what action should you take in order to avoid the coroner issuing a ‘Report to Prevent Future Deaths’, which may damage your organisation’s reputation?
  • should you be anticipating and preparing for a police or health and safety prosecution, following the inquest?

How we can help:

  • Provide you with clear advice on your obligations, your options, how to protect your business and how to reduce the risks of reputational damage.
  • Draft a statement for the Coroner in an inquest or review and revise a statement you have drafted.
  • Engage constructively, sensitively and positively, on your behalf, with all parties involved.
  • Advise you on legal issues as they arise, disclosure of documents and evidence.
  • Hold pre-inquest meetings with your staff who are involved with the inquest.
  • Conduct advocacy at pre-inquest hearings and at the inquest, with a view to assisting the coroner while protecting your business interests.
  • Advise on and assist with responding to Prevention of Future Death (PFD) reports.
  • Provide expert advice and representation in respect of related claims, police investigations, health and safety prosecutions and professional disciplinary action.

Contact our Health & Social Care Regulation Lawyers in London

With over 30 other specialist consultants we are well placed to assist with a broad range of legal and regulatory matters.

For more information get in touch via our online contact form or call Errol Archer now on 020 3984 7883 .

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