Medical Examiner Service

The Medical Examiner Service is a new service that is being introduced across all Trusts in England and Wales

The Medical Examiner independently scrutinises all deaths that are not referred to the coroner. The service currently covers deaths in the acute and community hospitals, hospices and some GP Practices (it will eventually cover all GP practices).

The Medical Examiner Service was set up to improve the death certification process (ensuring accuracy and consistency of completion). The aim of the reforms is to put bereaved families at the centre of the scrutiny and the next of kin are given an opportunity to raise concerns (therefore strengthening safeguards for the public). The independent Medical Examiner Office, with no conflicts of interest, is central to improving quality of death certification and safety for patients.

In summary, the introduction of the medical examiner system is designed to:

  • provide bereaved families with greater transparency and opportunities to raise concerns
  • improve the quality/accuracy of medical certification of cause of death
  • ensure referrals to coroners are appropriate
  • support local learning/improvement by identifying matters in need of clinical governance and related processes
  • provide the public with greater safeguards through improved and consistent scrutiny of all non-coronial deaths, and support healthcare providers to improve care through better learning
  • align with related systems such as the Learning from Deaths Framework and Universal Mortality Reviews.

The Medical Examiner team can be contacted on ekhuft.medicalexaminerofficers@nhs.net    

Healthcare staff can find resources for clinical staff on our Clinical site