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The Somerset Guardian, 14th June 2023

There still seems to be a post-pandemic torpor in the public services. Even the Somerset Coroner is failing my constituents. This is why I have put down questions in Parliament to understand what is going wrong.

It is particularly troubling as people are only ever involved with the Coroner in the saddest circumstances so you would expect them to have the highest standards of service. Yet, this has not been the experience of my constituent, Mrs. Deborah Cox, who has given me permission to write about her situation.

Mrs. Cox’s son Daniel died on 14th August 2019, almost four years ago.  As Daniel was extremely vulnerable and supposedly being monitored, Mrs. Cox wanted to know what happened in the time before her son’s untimely death.  This is the purpose of an inquest.

However, as she said to me, not only has the wait for an inquest has been ‘unacceptable’ but the timeframe keeps getting longer even though her lawyer summarised the whole case in great detail and sent it to the coroner in the hope that the case could be dealt with efficiently.

The delay has cruelly exacerbated the sadness and distress felt by Daniel’s family, not only his mother but also his children. They feel let down by an unaccountable Coroner and brushed off when they make enquiries.   

Whilst there may be some post-pandemic challenges, this death occurred before Covid hit and blaming it has become the pink ticket for poor public service. This is not good enough and my constituents are right to complain. Unfortunately, the newish Senior Coroner for Somerset, Samantha Marsh, seems intent upon making a name for herself rather than dealing with the backlog. She has taken to writing to Ministers about regulating mobility scooters and the Military giving out certain retirement presents. Such displacement activity brings no comfort to my bereaved constituents.

I would like to thank Mrs. Cox for going on record so I could highlight her story. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance:

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