15 April 2024

The College welcomes the publication of the regulations relating to the reforms to death certification and the announcement that they will become statutory from 9 September this year.

These reforms will affect everyone involved in the certification, review and registration of deaths. They will improve support for bereaved people and care for future patients. As the lead medical royal college for medical examiners, the Royal College of Pathologists welcomes the move of medical examiners to a statutory footing, with all deaths in England and Wales being either scrutinised by a medical examiner or investigated by a coroner.

Mandating the scrutiny of all non-coronial deaths by medical examiners will build on the successes of the non-statutory system, in which over 800,000 deaths have been scrutinised since 2019. This world-leading patient safety initiative has already helped improve support for bereaved people, patient care and the accuracy of death certification.

The College has trained almost 3,000 medical examiners and medical examiner officers to deliver the service. To support understanding of the changes and how they will affect anyone who works in or with medical examiner services, the College is hosting an online information-sharing event on 11 June 2024. Guidance and training will also be updated in line with the statutory changes from September 2024.

Dr Suzy Lishman CBE
Senior Advisor on Medical Examiners
The Royal College of Pathologists

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