What happens if someone dies whilst subject to a Deprivation of Liberty Authorisation | Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards | Oldham Council
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2. What happens if someone dies whilst subject to a Deprivation of Liberty Authorisation

Following guidance from the Chief Coroner for England and Wales, local coroners will be conducting a formal inquest for every person who dies whilst under a Deprivation of Liberty Authorisation. 

We understand that this is a very sensitive subject and could cause distress, however it is important you are made aware of these changes, and understand what these changes mean for you and your family.

The information below has been put together to help guide you through this process. If you have any further enquires please contact your local Deprivation of Liberty Team or the Coroner’s office.  

Process

  • Firstly the care home/hospital where your relative/friend dies must notify the local Coroner. 
  • The doctor who is called to confirm death will not be able to issue a death certificate but will be asked to confirm death has occurred. 
  • Your relative/friend will then be taken to either the Royal Oldham Hospital or Fairfield General Hospital. If they are already in hospital they will probably remain there.
  • The local Coroner’s Office will make contact with family members/friends, the certifying doctor and the care home to establish facts about your relative/friends death and their care.
  • The local Coroner will then make a decision as to whether a post mortem needs to be conducted. We know that this is part of the process that can upset people the most. However, a post mortem will only be conducted if the cause of death is not known or there are circumstances around the death which give rise to concern. 
  • The Coroner will issue an interim death certificate so that the burial/cremation can go ahead and this can be used to inform other agencies E.g. Banks and Building Societies
  • The Coroner will hold an inquest and family members will be approached to provide a witness statement should they wish to do so.
  • After the inquest is concluded the Coroner will notify the Register Office, who will then register the death. You will not be required to attend the register office. The register office will inform you when the death has been registered so you can then apply for death certificates. 

Will there be any delay to arranging a funeral? 

This depends on the circumstances of your friends/relatives death.

The Coroner’s Office need to make initial enquires and establish whether a post mortem is needed. However, they will do all that they can to ensure that there is as short a delay as possible.

Coroners are sensitive to the needs of particular faith groups and again will do all that they can to ensure things are moved along as quickly as possible. 

How long will it take to hold the inquest and will this hold up the funeral?

This will depend on how busy the local Coroners Court is at the time. An inquest could be held within a few weeks or after a few months.

Funeral arrangements will not normally be held up by the timing of the inquest as the Coroner will issue an interim death certificate which will allow the funeral to go ahead.

What do I do about registering my relative/friends death at the Register Office?

The death cannot be registered until after the inquest has taken place. After the inquest is concluded the Coroner will notify the Register Office, who will then register the death. You will not be required to attend the register office. The register office will inform you when the death has been registered so you can then apply for death certificates.

Contact 

Oldham DoLS team

Rochdale Coroners Office (covering Bury, Oldham and Rochdale)
The Phoenix Centre
L/Cpl Stephen Shaw MC Way (formerly Church Street)

Heywood

OL10 1LR
Office opening hours

8.30am - 4.30pm Monday to Friday