Acting Teesside coroner Clare Bailey gets permanent job

Claire Bailey Image copyright Middlesbrough Council
Image caption Claire Bailey, a solicitor, has been doing the job for two years

A senior coroner who took over a service criticised for being slow has been given the job permanently after a backlog of inquests was cleared.

Claire Bailey joined Teesside Coroner's Service in 2014 when inquests took an average of 44 weeks to be heard - the national average was 27.

Cases now take an average of 14 weeks to complete, Middlesbrough Council said.

Ms Bailey said she was "very proud" to get the senior coroner job permanently.

The service covers the local authority areas of Middlesbrough, Stockton and Redcar and Cleveland and is administered by Middlesbrough Council.

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