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For healthcare professionals

As a medical professional you may need to report a death to the Coroners Court of Victoria.

Reporting a death

Call 1300 309 519 to speak with Coronial Admissions and Enquiries (CA&E) to report a death. You will be requested to complete a medical deposition and be provided with a unique code.

There are certain deaths you must report. These are called reportable deaths and reviewable deaths.

You will be required to complete a Statement of Identification form with a family member, or a person that has known the deceased for more than 6 months. Submit this form to CA&E as soon as possible via fax on 03 9682 1206.

You may also be required to complete a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death and submit it to Births Deaths and Marriages Victoria.

Police members will attend to obtain details about the deceased and next of kin. Police members are notified of the death by CA&E.

Transfer the deceased person to the mortuary once family members and police members have left. Speak with CA&E to arrange transfer if your facility does not have a mortuary. Notify your hospital coordinator (or similar) that the deceased person has been transferred to the mortuary.

We have provided a checklist to the right that you can print out to guide you in the process of reporting a death.

After a death has been reported

Requesting access to coronial documents

After a death is reported case files are created and managed by our Registry office. If you want to stay up-to-date on the investigation you may request access to coronial documents. To access coronial documents you will need to complete Form 45 – Application for Access to Coronial Documents/Inquest Transcript or contact Registry on 1300 309 519.

The types of documents you may request include:

  • medical examiners report
  • toxicology report
  • Transcripts of inquest hearings
  • Findings

Interim Cause of Death

You may call CA&E on 1300 309 519 to obtain an Interim Cause of Death 48 hours after the death has been reported.

Providing information to families

Families that have recently lost a loved one may be unaware of the coronial investigation process. We provide information on our website for families to help guide them through the process.

We provide digital publications for families to explain what happens after the death of a loved one and a booklet to explain the coroners process.

These are also available to order as printed publications which you can distribute to family members.

Healthcare concerns

There are several different options available for families to express their concerns regarding healthcare of the recently deceased family member. In the first instance we encourage family members to contact the relevant health service to discuss their concerns. If there is a dispute, healthcare concerns can be directed to the Health Complaints Commissioner.

The investigation

All reportable deaths are investigated. As part of the investigation you may be requested to write a statement for the coroner. Our guide will assist you with writing your statement.

As part of the investigation we may also request you provide medical records.

Inquests

A small number of investigations have inquests. If an inquest is held you may be engaged as an expert witness.

If you are engaged as an expert witness we will send you a letter of engagement. This letter of engagement will request you to submit an expert report, and you may be requested to provide evidence at a court hearing.

Find out more about inquests and how they operate.

Findings

We publish coroner’s written findings on our website. These findings contain details about the investigation into a death, and may contain recommendations. These findings may be used as an education tool to prevent future deaths.

If you were requested to provide an expert report or attend an inquest as an expert witness you will also receive a copy of the finding.

Education and training

We hold information sessions specifically designed for health professionals. These information sessions assist you to better understand the coronial investigation process and your obligations under the Coroners Act 2008.

Find out more about the topics discussed and how to book your place at our next session.

Our Coroners Prevention Unit provides publications which include data and statistics about death in Victoria.

Last updated on 13 Dec 2018