The Medical Examiner is an independent service that reviews non-coronial deaths in the hospital and the community
About the Medical Examiner Service
The Medical Examiner Service is a national initiative to enable independent review of all deaths by a senior doctor or consultant in all hospital Trusts.
The ME service started in hospitals in 2019 and is now being rolled out to include all non-coronial deaths that occur in the community. One of the main purposes of the service is to establish whether anything could have been done differently with the care your loved one received. This is so that learning can be shared across the health care sector so that the NHS is continually using your feedback to improve care.
What is the purpose of the Medical Examiner service?
- To provide greater safeguards for the public by ensuring independent scrutiny of all non-coronial deaths
- To ensure the appropriate direction of deaths to the coroner
- To provide a better service for the bereaved and an opportunity for them to raise any concerns to a doctor not involved in the care of the deceased
- To improve the quality of death certification
- To identify cases for further review
- To support for local learning by identifying matters for clinical governance
The Medical Examiner Process
All deaths should be reviewed by a Medical Examiner (ME). This must be an independent, senior doctor who was not involved in the care of your loved one. We also have Medical Examiner Officers (MEOs) who coordinate the entire process of ensuring the required certificate of cause of death can be issued. You will have a named MEO who will be your main point of contact throughout the entire process. The bereavement assistant also supports the MEOs.
The ME reviews the medical notes and has a discussion with your designated MEO and the doctor(s) responsible for the care of the patient. This is to ensure that the information entered on the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) is correct and that all information relating to the death is recorded appropriately. The Medical Examiner is NOT the same as the Coroner.
Your designated MEO will ensure you are informed of the cause of death and they will answer any questions you may have about the Medical Examiner process. You will also be asked if you have any concerns regarding your loved one’s care during their final illness. Although they may not be able to answer all of your questions immediately, they will advise you of sources of additional support or information.
The Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) is sent electronically to Hertfordshire Registration Service by your appointed MEO and you will be notified once this has been done. There is no requirement for you to come and collect it directly from us.
Some deaths must be notified to the Coroner. When the Coroner starts an investigation, they will investigate the death independently – although the Medical Examiner may still provide expert medical advice to the Coroner.
For any enquiries please contact us on 01438 284634 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Opening hours are 9am – 4pm, Monday to Friday