Reports to prevent future deaths (PFD reports)
The avoidance of future deaths has long been recognised as a major purpose of the inquest in avoiding the repetition of inappropriate conduct and in encouraging beneficial change.
A coroner is under a duty to prepare a report where he or she considers that action to prevent future deaths (or other deaths) should be taken.
The report is made to a person who the coroner believes may have the power to take such actions.
The coroner must make a report where the investigation he or she has been conducting reveals something which gives rise to a concern that there is a risk of deaths in the future and that action should be taken to eliminate or reduce that risk.
The coroner may recommend that action should be taken, but not what that action should be.
The time limit for responding to the coroner’s report is 56 days.
The regulations say that all reports and responses to them must be sent to the Chief Coroner, and that the Chief Coroner may publish these or summaries of them.
For more information follow the link to the Chief Coroner’s Guidance No.5 Reports to Prevent Future Deaths.