The case of Hanbury, which was reported recently in the Law Society Gazette, caught my eye. Click here to see the article in question.
It’s a salutary tale. If a fatal case is being investigated, and there has been a post mortem examination, make sure the medical expert sees the post mortem report and any associated test results, for example those relating to histology or toxicology. Where the death has occurred in a secondary care setting, the medical records usually clarify the contemporaneous thinking as to cause of death and make clear if the case has been referred to the coroner.
What should I expect from my collator?
If medical records in a fatal case are with Clinco for pagination, we will always flag up if we do not see a post mortem report (if one has been carried out) or death certificate. These documents are not always within the medical records but will need to be obtained if they are not present, so it is helpful to mention them for completeness. We would expect an experienced medical expert to do the same. This did not appear to happen in the Hanbury case. Consequently the family has had to spend many additional years waiting for a resolution of this very sad case.