On 11 June, the Government published its response to consultation on the introduction of medical examiners and reforms to death certification in England and Wales. This set out plans to introduce a system of medical examiners from April 2019.
Medical examiners will scrutinise all non-coronial deaths, improve the quality and accuracy of the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death, improve national data on avoidable mortality and contribute to improved patient safety.
Medical examiners will provide a service to the bereaved, increasing transparency and offering them the opportunity to raise concerns. They will provide a new level of scrutiny to help deter criminal activity and poor practice. On 18 June, the Government commenced section 21 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, to allow for the appointment of a National Medical Examiner to prepare guidance that will support the introduction of medical examiners. The Government is working with a range of stakeholders, including in the National Health Service, to establish delivery arrangements.