To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to reduce waiting times for coroners' inquests.
The requested information for 2010-2018 is set out in the attached table. It is taken from the Coroner Statistics Annual which is published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coroners-and-burials-statistics
Information for 2019 is not yet available.
Clearly, unnecessary delay between death and inquest may cause additional anguish and distress to the relatives and friends of the deceased. For this reason, the Coroners (Inquests) Rules 2013 require that an inquest must be completed within six months of the coroner being made aware of a death or as soon as is reasonably practicable after that date. The Chief Coroner has published advice for coroners to reinforce these requirements which indicates that, if there is to be a delay of over six months, a coroner should ensure that a Pre-Inquest Review hearing is held.
Coroners are also under a statutory duty to report to the Chief Coroner any inquest which is not concluded within twelve months.
The Chief Coroner undertakes regular training with all coroners on a number of issues, including the timeliness of inquests and the investigation process.