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Impact of registration delays on mortality statistics, 2011

The information used to produce mortality statistics is based on the details collected when deaths are certified and registered.

In England and Wales, deaths should be registered within 5 days of the death occurring, but there are some situations that result in death registration being delayed. Deaths considered unexpected, accidental or suspicious will be referred to a coroner who may order a post-mortem or carry out a full inquest to ascertain the reasons for the death.

The coroner can only register the death once all investigations have concluded.

The time taken to investigate the circumstances of a death can often result in a death registration exceeding the 5-day grace period, leading to a delayed registration. While delays are commonly only a few days, they can extend into years.

This article (12.3 Kb Pdf) provides an overview of the impact of registration delays on data quality.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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