Inquests — nowhere to hide: the increasing pressure to disclose and the coroner’s powers of investigation

The increasing pressure to disclose so much more to the coroner means inquests are becoming much more difficult and need careful handling.

We all know about significantly increased disclosure obligations on the NHS after the scandals in Mid-Staffordshire and Morecambe Bay and recommendations made by Robert Francis QC, but it’s the same for all healthcare organisations, public or private — very much cards on the table.

It will be very difficult to withhold anything from public scrutiny now, particularly following a death. Internal and external investigation and evidence has to be disclosed and organisations will be under close public scrutiny to demonstrate they have made changes to stop it happening again. So what happens if an organisation doesn’t agree with the contents of a document, such as a damming independent review or internal report of the care provided? …

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