Recommendation 273

Healthcare organisations provision of information to coroners

Accepted in principle
The terms of authorisation, licensing and registration and any relevant guidance should oblige healthcare providers to provide all relevant information to enable the coroner to perform his function, unless a director is personally satisfied that withholding the information is justified in the public interest.

All relevant information should be shared with coroners to ensure that they are able to perform their roles fully.  The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 states that, ‘it is an offence for a person to do anything that is intended to have the effect of (a) distorting or otherwise altering any evidence, document or other things that is given, produced or provided for the purpose of an investigation … (b) preventing any evidence, document or other thing from being given produced or provided for the purposes of such an investigation or to do anything that the person knows or believes is likely to have that effect’.

The Government does not agree, however, that this should be required in terms of the registration of providers by the Care Quality Commission the function of which is to ensure that providers meet a much wider set of basic requirements to ensure patients’ effective and safe treatment and care.

No further update is required. Please see response to the recommendation above