Coroner statistics: data on 2019 deaths

A treasure trove of information for inquest practitioners.

The annual data on deaths reported to coroners was published on 20 May. This report presents statistics for the period January to December 2019 and so, does not include COVID-19 deaths: this data will fall to be included in next year’s statistic return.

You’d be forgiven for missing this report given the mass of news and information we’re all having to digest during the pandemic. But it’s worth a read as it provides some useful data on a number of key areas. Barristers at Serjeants’ Inn, Louisa Brown and Rachael Gourley have written a piece on the Annual Bulletin 2019 which you can read here.

We share their key figures from the 2019 bulletin below:

  • 40% of all registered deaths were reported to coroners in 2019
  • Overall deaths in state detention are down 7%, driven largely by a 16% fall in deaths of individuals under the Mental Health Act 1983
  • Overall, conclusions of suicide increased by 11%
  • Average time taken to process an inquest rises to 27 weeks

There is some good news buried in the report, such as fewer deaths in state detention and fewer detained patients dying but there is an increase in suicide as cause of death. Also the average time to complete an inquest has increased to 27 weeks - up a week from last year's data. 

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