Medical Examiner Service

What is the Medical Examiner Service?

Medical Examiners independently review the cause and death and the care provided to anyone who has died (with the exception of those referred to the local Coroner’s Office). The service:

  • Provides an independent review of all deaths that are not referred to the Coroner’s Office.
  • Gives bereaved carers and families a voice so they have the opportunity to raise concerns with a doctor who was not involved in the care of their loved one.
  • Improves the quality of death certification.

The Medical Examiner service is currently not a statutory requirement but the Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership has commenced work towards implementing the statutory Medical Examiner system.

Preparing for the statutory rollout of the medical examiner system 

The statutory implementation of medical examiner system will be coming to all Humber and North Yorkshire GP practices on 9 September 2024 (under legislation in the 2022 Health and Care Act). 

The legislation will mean that independent scrutiny by a medical examiner will become a statutory requirement prior to the registration of all non-coronial deaths in England and Wales from this date. Information from the Department of Health and Social Care is here

 What does this mean for GP practices?  
  • The change means that all deaths in the community (except clear coroner referrals) will need to be referred to the medical examiner office before a death certificate can be provided. Referral to the medical examiner will be through SystemOne/EMIS.
  • From the date of statute, the MCCD must be sent to the Registrar office by the Medical Examiner’s office.  The completed MCCD must therefore be sent to the ME office by the GP, and not direct to the Registrar office
  • The MCCD will be signed by the Medical Examiner before it is then sent to the Registrar. 
  • As part of the process the medical examiner will speak to the bereaved and talk through any questions they have.
  • The process should not cause undue delays for the bereaved and they will not need to do anything differently.

The new process requires practices being set-up on SystmOne and EMIS

Many of our practices are now set up with the new IT system and referring deaths through the medical examiner’s office. We will continue to support practices with this new IT system ahead the national rollout on 9 September 2024.   

More information is also available in these two national podcasts: GPs and medical examiners working together and changes to the death certification process and introduction of the statutory medical examiner system. 

On this page (in the drop downs below) you will find information for each of our places:

Coming soon

  • Training guides to get your practice setup on SystmOne/EMIS
  • Frequently asked questions for practice staff
  • Guidance for completing the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death MCCD
  • Information for the public
  • Contact details

You can find out more information about the national medical examiner system, including guidelines, reports and contacts on the NHS England website page.