As part of the process of arranging a funeral, various medically driven documentation is required.
To support the existing system, a new Medical Examiner role is being rolled out across England and Wales to provide independent scrutiny of deaths, and to give bereaved people a voice where they have concerns.
It is intended this will be fully operational by April 2024.
Medical examiners seek to answer three questions:
- What caused the death of the deceased?
- Does the Coroner need to be notified of the death?
- Was the care before death appropriate?
Medical examiners are senior doctors who provide independent scrutiny of deaths not taken at the outset for Coroner investigation. By giving families and next of kin an opportunity to ask questions and raise concerns, they put the bereaved at the centre of processes after the death of a patient.
Medical examiners carry out a proportionate review of medical records and speak with doctors completing the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death. They can support doctors completing medical certificates, complex cases, administrative elements of notifications to coroners where agreed, and help reduce administration.