An inquest can be an acutely stressful environment. The professionals involved may be afraid, the bereaved family may be distraught or angry, regulators may be anxious and the press may be looking for an easy scare-story.
The impact of this means that health professionals and executives can now face a much more challenging interrogation played out in front of the media. It is vital that you engage properly with this process while supporting staff and ensuring appropriate protection of reputation.
Coroners have wide powers to make formal reports requiring changes to an organisation’s systems. Such reports may be sent to the Lord Chancellor and may be subject to public scrutiny.
By working with you to prepare for an inquest, we can minimise the risk of such a report being made. Our inquest team is able to offer levels of support for an inquest tailored to its complexity. We have a vast experience in representing a range of organisations for inquests, including NHS and other health bodies, regulators, schools and individual medical practitioners.
It can sometimes be difficult to know if legal representation is necessary and therefore we provide a screening service for inquests whereby we review the preliminary papers, check reports and statements for onward submission to the Coroner and provide preliminary advice. This is also an opportunity for us to transfer skills to your staff in categorising difficult inquests.
Where legal representation is required an experienced advocate will be provided. Our inquest team includes a barrister and lawyers with Higher Rights and only in rare cases do we advise or require the use of external Counsel.
We can support witnesses through the process to ensure that they are properly prepared and to enable them to deliver their evidence confidently and competently.
We can also deal with other issues which may be linked to inquests such as the police or multi-agency investigations and we can help you manage an internal inquiry or Serious Untoward Incident investigation.