Changes in Death Certification in England and Wales

In a years time the process of death certification was supposed to change in England and Wales as announced  by Jeremy Hunt back in March 2016

Implementation of ME announcement

These changes were in response to the Shipman case  and will involve the establishment of the Medical Examiner in the Cause of Death as specified in the Corners and Justice Act 2009. But according to the Royal College of Pathologists President Suzy Lishman on 30th March this has been delayed to 2019.

Medical Examiner position – delay in implementation

The process of implementation has been a long time coming and there are many issues yet to be resolved. Anything from 400 – 1000 post will be needed most likely part- time and interest will be from across all branches of practice of any doctor more than 5 years post registration and with a licence to practice.

It is not for me to debate the prose and cons of the post,  the system or even the methods of implementation but below I link to many of the documents that are relevant. It is my personal view that to attract sufficient numbers of doctors with the right experience there would have to be the right terms and condition of service. How this is to be addressed is a matter being considered I understand, by the BMA.

HMG An overview of the death certification reforms

  1. Improving the death certification process
  2. Why the current system needs to change
  3. The reforms
  4. How the system will be improved
  5. Paying for the new system
  6. The new process
  7. Testing the reforms
  8. Professional standards and training
  9. Medical examiner recruitment
  10. Background: history of death certification
  11. Further information

Death certification overview

Death Certification Reforms Implementation Programme Structure Chart

Death certification reforms

2016 September Newsletter

GMC response to the consultation

BMA response to the consultation

RCPE response to the consultation

RCPath document on Medical Examiners

RCPhysc response to the consultation

Chief Coroners response to  the consultation

Local Government Association response to the consultation

DoH presentation to LGA on the changes Carolyn Heaney

RCPath Medical Examiners roundtable note June 2016

RCPath Medical Examiners Committee Membership


Other documents

National Guidance Learning from Deaths

Related useful read for medical students

Certifying a death taught me I still had a lot to learn as a medical student


BMA Library News

Food and Drink no longer allowed in the BMA Library

The BMA library has introduced a ban on all food and drink with immediate effect if only because they “now have a problem with mice”

According to the BMA Library Blog this has been introduced because library users where:-

  • not disposing of food leftovers appropriately
  • not returning drinking glasses or crockery to the Hastings Room .
  • bringing in “cooked and smelly foods”.

Reference   Banning food and drink in BMA library  March 28, 2017

It is to be clarified whether these rules apply also to the mice!