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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71040
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I need help with a coroners court hearing. I have a case

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I need help with a coroner's court hearing. I have a case management hearing set for early Feb 2013. Loads of papers have been released to me now and I'm swamped. Even though the death occurred in 2010 its been like extracting teeth to get this far as the hospital has been dragging its feet. Despite being the ones who initially asked for a pathologists report. They were as baffled as to why my mother had died from a routine op. as were we.

I have subsequently learned that the surgeon operated with experimental equipment despite telling us that he had a 100% success rate for fixing pacemakers as it was a tried and tested op. There is a suitcase of issues surrounding the death of my mother, I can't afford a lawyer, can can you help? Is there any legal aid for things like this or no win no fee arrangements? How do I handle the hearing? and what do I ask for? Can I ask for info to be given to me, ie copies/access to NICE practice guidelines, the Pacemaker's company records, access to hospital policies/procedures.
The latter is very relevant because the head of dep. was unable to stop the surgeon when clearly he had made a mess of the op and was hurriedly trying to cover his actions with promises of other medical interventions to supposedly help her. All the other DRs, nurses, heart and renal specialists advised to let her go, but the surgeon kept berating me not to. Even after the life support machine was switched off, he bullied the registrar into giving me the phone to tell me how disappointed he was with me for letting my mother go and to switch her back on and to keep going regardless. He even tried to blame the hospital itself by focusing on the hospitals practice of operating in one location, then transporting patients 12 miles to another city to converless. There may be some truth in that, but the extent needs to be determined, particularly as the pathologist puts the blame fair and squarely with the surgeon. Please help as I'm lost here and need an expert in the field to resolve all the matters and issues.

What would you like to know about this?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

What do I do? do I just go to the hearing and ask for the information I want. I have to supply a list of areas I want the coroner to look into a week before the hearing but i do not know what to ask with out access to the info in the first place. am I entitled to ask for info from the hospital before the hearing. Apologies for spelling mistakes i'm dyslexic


Can we try to narrow this down?

This would have been in for first appearance? When was that? Are you acting as a litigant in person?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Mum died on the 6/3/2010 - There has been no court hearing other than to open the inquest and then immediately adjourn it. It was only because I wrote an official complaint at the enormous delay just before xmas that the case management was listed. I know of no other hearings. Furthermore the matter has been removed from the original case officer and given to the court's head investigator. Two days later, the Friday before xmas the papers i now have were released to me.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

ops forgot to say litigant in person


Have you applied for legal aid?

Has the CAB referred you to the Bar Pro Bono Unit?
Actually don't worry. I can give you an outline.

No win no fee isn't possible for the Coroners Court. Its an inquisitorial hearing so no win no fee isn't possible. Its not really appropriate anyway for any off shoot from crime.

Legal aid can be available but its not likely to be an option here in truth. The only snippet of hope is the public interest point referred to.

The CAB can refer you to the Bar Pro Bono Unit and somebody may well pick this up. It sounds an interesting case.

The other alternative that you should consider though is public access. A solicitor will be hugely expensive but a public access barrister would be an option for you.

You can always pay for a public access conference to consider all of the papers and then you can carry on unrepresented if you choose.

I know that this counsel

does a great deal of Coroner's hearings and I think she is public access registered.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Will try the public access route for the one off advice. Have used the CAB in the past for housing issues - they were a tad shaky as it depends on who you get! Hence resorting to this serivce/

Many thanks for your help. Hope you have a good 2013

Oh yes, the CAB are not a good source of legal advice.

But they can make a referral to the BPU which are a good source of advice.

To guarantee advice though, try calling the Chambers I gave you. She is a very good Inquest counsel and I note from the website that she is public access registered.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Yes her profile is excellent- I'll call her chambers tomorrow.

Should the fee be to much I'll go through the BPU route. Many thanks for that nugget of info -Makes approaching the CAB a solid fall back position.

Kind regards XXXXX XXXXX - kate

A conference shouldn't be too expensive. I am a public access barrister and people approach me for conferences and then act alone all the time.

You will find public access much cheaper even for the hearing than a solicitor though.

Best of luck.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Wow - that really is a great advice and very helpful; Public Access it is. Great service and again many thanks - Kate


No problem.

All the best.

Please remember to rate my answer.
Thanks for the rating.

Did you get this sorted?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Not yet, I'm waiting for a phone back - the head Clerk For Ms Manley hoped it would be later this morning/today. Further she is available for the Case management conference. Again thanks for your help - Kate

No problem.

She is an Inquest specialist so I'm sure it will be cheaper for you.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you so much for all your hep - I really do want to know what the relationship between the medical company and the surgeon, (ie what was in it for him, financial or otherwise. As well as why the hospital has split its services in the manner that it has. Secondly why the hospital policies and procedures didn't allow the head of heart surgery and/or AAU etc, to over rule the man and his handling of both mother and myself (as next of kin).

Yes, you might get legal aid for this if there is a public interest point.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I hope so as it is a nonsense for non medical managers to split the case of patients in this manner. This is what I have found out so far -

The patient (sorry now known as 'a NHS customer) enters hospital (a) - funded as a 'center of excellence' for care, but not for surgery. S/he is then prep-ed for the op. Next while partially drugged up they are transferred by ambulance to hospital (b) 10-12 miles away, where any amount of surgery is carried out. No matter how complicated.



Hospital b) is also funded as a 'center of excellence' but for 'surgery' only. Patients are then monitored and should they show signs of being stable (ie an hour or two from surgery taking place) transferred back to hospital (a) where the after care takes place. It's a farce! I mean what happens if there is an accident on the way there or back?


The decision to split the departments, as the Drs advised, was based on funding measures not medical grounds. Thus patient care came very low in the list of priorities; ie it was a political decision as each authority did not want to loose the 'center of excellence' benchmark as other funding flowed from this initial decision for the county/hospital area. Total nonsense - and very worrying for patient care. As the state is rolled back our lives are being put at risk! I just hope the coroner can expose this insanity.

Yes, that does sound like a basis for legal aid.

If you do get legal aid then it may well be all resolved by counsel without you having to worry.