More scrutiny over death in care cases

Deaths in custody or care could be subject to greater scrutiny under new proposals to extend the power of coroners.

The draft Coroners Bill would require public or private organisations to say what action they would take to prevent future deaths in cases where the coroners’ report finds the death to be preventable. And a new chief coroner would monitor the responses received and produce an annual report for MPs, the Department for Constitutional Affairs has announced.

Deborah Coles, co-director of pressure group Inquest, welcomed the proposal saying that coroners’ reports currently just “disappeared into the ether”. But she said the proposals would be meaningless unless parliamentary time was found for the bill, which currently does not have an allocated slot.



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