Lessons from web scraping coroners' Prevention of Future Deaths reports.
Zhang Q., Richards GC.
In England and Wales, coroners are required to write Prevention of Future Deaths reports when a death is deemed preventable so that action is taken to avert similar deaths. Since July 2013, Prevention of Future Deaths reports have been openly available via the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary website (https://www.judiciary.uk/prevention-of-future-death-reports/). However, their presentation to date have been insufficient to identify trends and learn lessons. We designed a web scraper to create the Preventable Deaths Tracker (https://preventabledeathstracker.net/). On 22 June 2022, 4001 PFDs were scraped, analysed, and compared to the Office of National Statistics' preventable mortality statistics. This commentary summarises the key findings and offers recommendations to improve the Prevention of Future Deaths system so lessons can be learnt to avert preventable deaths.