In May 2024, the Coroner’s Statistics for 2023 were published for England and Wales. Please see details regarding the full report here.

The key points to takeaway are:

  • There was an overall decrease in the number of deaths reported to Coroners – down 6% (13,400) compared to 2022. 
  • Deaths in state detention decreased 8% on the year before, attributed to a fall in deaths of those detained under the Mental Health Act 1983. Prison custody deaths increased 3% on the previous year.
  • There were a total of 36,900 Inquests opened in 2023. This represents the highest number of inquests opened since the start of the annual time series in 1995. 1% of all inquests heard in 2023 were before juries.
  • 891 inquests were suspended in 2023 by the Coroner because criminal proceedings took place.
  • In regards to inquest conclusions – in 2023, 39,500 inquest conclusions were recorded in total, up 11% on 2022. The most common conclusions (in order) were misadventure, natural causes and suicide.
  • The number of Prevention of Future Deaths Reports (“PFDs”) issued in inquests heard in 2023 was recorded as 569. This was a 41% increase compared to 2022 and equates to a report being made in 1% of all inquests heard in 2023.
  • In addressing the scope of PFDs and where these take place, the London region issued 93 PFDs, the highest number as a proportion of inquests concluded (3%). London also issued the highest proportion in 2022 (2%).
  • The West Midlands region issued the lowest number of reports (50) as a proportion of inquests concluded (1%). Although 8 Coroners areas issued no PFD reports in 2023.

If you would like any further information about inquests or the Coronial process generally, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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