Legal Update
Coroner Issues Prevention of Future Death Report
4 June 2024

Coroner Issues Prevention of Future Death Report

Richard Copnall (Instructed by Ison Harrison, Leeds) recently represented the family of Mathew Dale at an inquest in Liverpool. Mathew was an adult with a significant learning disability, who was in full time residential care. When unsupervised, he removed padding from his incontinence pad, placed it in his mouth and choked to death.

The coroner agreed with the family’s submissions that the circumstances required the issuing of a prevention of future deaths report to the government [you can see a copy here]. Then government has now published its response [you can see a copy here]. The key points are that the Government has, since the inquest, published:

  1. The “Care Workforce Pathway which provides (for the first time) a national career structure for those working in adult care.
  2. A new professional qualification for those employed in Adult Social Care, which includes training in health and safety and life support and is backed by £50 million to support 37,000 individuals to enrol.

Matthew’s case provides a powerful illustration of the way in which a thorough inquest, with an experienced legal team can contribute to improvements in public policy.