Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
To award a four year contract for the provision of post mortem facilities to East Kent NHS Trust for the North East Kent and Central & South East Kent coroner areas
The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 places a duty on Coroners to investigate deaths that are referred to them if they have reason to think that:
· The death was violent or unnatural;
· The cause of death is unknown; or
· The deceased died while in prison, police custody or another form of state detention eg where a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard Order (DoLS) is in place
In some cases the Coroner will order a post mortem to establish the cause of death. In these cases, bodies are taken to a pre-designated mortuary. In 2016, of 3,695 deaths referred to the Senior Coroner for North East Kent and Central & South East Kent, 1,516 required a post mortem (41% of deaths referred).
On behalf of the Senior Coroner, KCC ensures there is adequate storage capacity for bodies and that the Coroner has access to post mortem facilities. KCC does not have its own public mortuary facility and so, like many other coroner areas across England and Wales, it has always used local NHS hospitals which have the necessary facilities for this purpose, as there are no private sector providers of post mortem facilities anywhere in England and Wales.
Currently, post mortems for the North East Kent and Central & South East Kent coroner areas are carried out by East Kent NHS Trust at William Harvey Hospital, Ashford and QEQM Hospital, Margate. The contract expires on 30 September 2017 and a new four year contract is proposed for the period 1 October 2017 to 30 September 2021.
As Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services, I agree to award a four year contract for the provision of post mortem (PM) facilities for the period 1 October 2017 to 30 September 2021 for the:
· North West Kent and
· North East Kent Central and South East Kent coroner areas
Publication date: 11/10/2017
Date of decision: 11/10/2017
Effective from: 19/10/2017