A national network of medical examiners was recommended by the Shipman, Mid-Staffordshire and Morecambe Bay public inquiries and the College has long campaigned for their implementation. In October 2017 Lord O’Shaughnessy, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health, announced that a national system of medical examiners will be introduced from April 2019.
The benefits of medical examiners will be far-reaching and touch the work of numerous agencies. With this in mind we arranged a roundtable in June 2016 with leading representatives of patient groups, charities, local and central government, the coronial and health services to discuss the issues, particularly in relation to the practicalities of implementation.
Dr Alan Fletcher, Chair of the Medical Examiners Committee at The Royal College of Pathologists said:
"Medical examiners are the last piece of the jigsaw of ensuring patient safety when someone dies; their role is not to investigate but to detect and pass on."
The College has published a pamphlet Medical examiners, explaining background to the policy.