Coroner’s Inquest Advice for GPs
Most GPs will be called upon to write a Coroner’s report during their career, and some will be called to attend the Coroner’s Court as a witness.
Even the most experienced GPs find the call to attend an inquest daunting. It can be difficult to know what to do, where to get help and how to behave. It can also be difficult to know how to support a colleague going through this process.
Before the inquest
- If possible, go to Court to observe a case beforehand so that you understand who is who and the process.
- When planning your attendance, don't try to squeeze attendance at court it into an already busy day as you need to be prepared and will be exhausted afterwards.
ON the day
- If you don't understand the questions asked of you, then ask them to repeat the question. This seems odd as GP's are clever people but the barristers may ask double negative questions, questions out of your area of expertise and will try to push you beyond what you know about the case etc.
The attached guide and flowchart has been designed to help you understand the process and signpost you to sources of help.