Medical Examiner role in the community
Medical examiners are senior doctors who scrutinise the cause of death of individuals to support learning and improve registration of death processes. MEs also liaise with families of the deceased and provide them with support and feedback.
Many hospital trusts, including ULHT, have utilised MEs to scrutinise in-hospital deaths for some time, and this has led to improvements in care and support for bereaved families. This role is now being rolled out to deaths in the community.
When a patient dies GPs will have to provide information to the community ME before completing the MCCD so that the ME can scrutinise the circumstances of the death. This will be a similar process to the current coroner referral process, though the exact details are still to be agreed.
In most cases the ME will authorise completion of the MCCD, but sometimes the ME will want to discuss the case to get more information, and in other cases the ME may ask the GP to refer the case to the coroner. In exceptional circumstances the ME can also complete the MCCD, which may help where the GP is unavailable to do this.
More information will come to practices when the community ME process is due to start in Lincolnshire.