The new medical examiner system continues to be rolled out across England and Wales. While initially supportive of the increase in scrutiny of deaths, the BMA continues to have concerns around the system and its implementation. While learning from death is an important aspect of medicine, it must not come at a cost to the living and must be adequately resourced. If you or your practice is finding it difficult to comply with the requests of the medical examiner, you may invite the medical examiner to the practice to review the deceased patient’s file (ensuring they have all appropriate permissions from the family/next of kin).
There is currently nothing within the GP contract requiring doctors to interact with this system. The role of the medical examiner has been created through the Health Care Act, however the way the medical examiner system is expected to operate is not currently subject to legislation (we expect this to change in the next 6-12 months). If the medical examiner system is placing an excessive burden on GP work, we suggest you comply with your duties and obligations as a GP to certify the death.