Below are two invaluable resources to guide and support bereaved people following a state related death: the INQUEST Handbook and the Skills and Support Toolkit. Both are available online and the handbook is also available in print.

The handbook gives you detailed information on the investigation and inquest procedures after a death. The Skills and Support Toolkit encourages the development of specific skills and knowledge with the aim of empowering families beyond the inquest process.

What is the INQUEST handbook?

The INQUEST handbook is a free and trusted guide for bereaved families and friends affected by a sudden death that involves an inquest, available in print and online

It has been developed and shaped by the many families we work with, and helps prepare bereaved people for the inquest process in England and Wales.

“The facts are laid out in a very accessible way and the explanations are clear and concise and helpful to families like ours, bewildered by the situation we find ourselves in.” – relative of a man who died whilst an in-patient at Meadowfield Hospital, Worthing.

It is a complete and easy-to-understand resource which can be used by families and bereavement professionals.

"I found your site and then sent for your handbook. It is BRILLIANT, packed with everything I needed help and advice about. Now a part of my resource kit which I use to help clients with."  - Bereavement volunteer, Plymouth


What does the handbook cover?

It includes advice and information on:

  • What happens after a sudden death?
  • Post-mortem examinations and the rights of bereaved people
  • The process before and during an inquest, including when you may need legal advice and how to fund it
  • Coping with a death and an inquest
  • Contentious deaths in police and prison custody, immigration detention, mental health settings and deaths involving multi-agency failings or where wider issues of state and corporate accountability are in question
  • Contacts of voluntary, government and professional organisations working on mental health, criminal justice and immigration issues.

How can I access the handbook?

  • The handbook is free for bereaved and can be accessed via the options below.
  • Advice agencies and Citizens Advice Bureaus can request copies to pass on to bereaved people at a cost of £2.00 for administration and postage fees in the UK.
  • Statutory organisations and individuals such as academics and researchers can order copies at a cost of £10.00 each including postage and packing in the UK.
  • Please contact us for info on delivery costs outside the UK or for large bulk orders.

Access the Inquest Handbook online or download the PDF.
For cases involving police please also see the Handbook Update Jan 2018 on the IOPC.

Order the Inquest Handbook by contacting us.  

What is the Skills and Support Toolkit?

The online toolkit is an interactive resource that aims to build a range of skills, from organising information relating to the inquest, speaking in public, to handling media attention.

Families have helped to create the skills toolkit, giving bereaved individuals the much needed support and ability to communicate their concerns and calls for change.

"The Skills and Support Toolkit can provide you with practical advice needed to continue and maintain your day to day life at a time when even the simplest of tasks can seem insurmountable, or help you develop the skills needed to mount a campaign." - Mother of a child who died in prison

Whether you need help researching the inquest process, keeping a diary of important dates or contacting your MP, this resource provides can help answer your questions.

Access the Skills and Support Toolkit here