Medical Examiners and their staff (called Medical Examiner Officers) offer families and carers a chance to ask questions or raise concerns about the cause of death or about the care they received before their death. This will usually be completed over the telephone.
A key role of the Medical Examiner is to make it easier for the bereaved to understand the Medical Certificate which explains the cause of death. Medical Examiners also look at medical records and discuss the causes of death with the doctor filling in the Medical Certificate.
The Medical Examiner service will provide an independent view and they will only review cases where they, or their staff, have not provided care for the patient.
In line with Government guidelines we no longer offer face to face appointments to collect the completed MCCD. The bereavement office will send completed MCCD’s to the local registry office electronically and you will be notified when this has been done by the bereavement service.
Deaths from within the Hospital
Since 2019, the Medical Examiner Service reviews all deaths within the hospital in order to establish a cause of death prior to issuing a MCCD. The initial call with the hospital may be with an experienced Medical Examiner Officer who works closely with the Medical Examiner. The nature of this call is to advise you of the Medical Examiner review and to discuss the nursing care and medical treatment your loved one received whilst in our care.
It is an opportunity to help support you with any questions you may have. Once the Medical Examiner has undertaken their review, they will then wish to speak with a family member to discuss the care and treatment given and to explain the cause of death. In some circumstances the Medical Examiner may request the Medical Examiner Officer to make this follow up call. We aim to complete the Medical Examiner review within 3 working days after the death and keep families informed at every stage should the review take a little longer.
Deaths from the Community
On 11 July 2020, the National Medical Examiner for NHS England communicated to acute organisations and set out what local health systems need to do to prepare for the statutory Medical Examiner system which commences in April 2023. The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, as the local acute organisation, must therefore extend its services to provide independent scrutiny of all deaths not taken for investigation by a coroner.
The Medical Examiner service is working towards ensuring there are plans in place when the statutory requirement commences and have been liaising with all community providers within Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin Integrated Care System.
Medical Examiners Service Data Sharing Information
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. Further information in relation to Coroners can be found on the Ministry of Justice website: www.gov.uk/government/publications/guide-to-coroner-services-and-coroner-investigations-a-short-guide or you can e-mail email@example.com.