SAIF Scotland: Changes to the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death

August 4, 2014   //   No Comments

On the 6th August the National Records of Scotland (NRS) will implement the new Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (Form 11). What will it mean for funeral directors in Scotland?

The layout of the new MCCD has been improved for ease of completion. It will be a double-sided form in 5 sections (A to E). The main changes are:

i) The deceased person’s Community Health Index (CHI) Number is now required. The CHI Number will help to distinguish between two patients with the same name and date of birth; will provide more accurate demographic information; and will improve the management of patient records.

ii) The inclusion of the name of the Health Board area where death occurred, which will facilitate statistical analysis by Health Board area. The certifying doctor’s General Medical Council reference number has been added to make it easier to identify the certifying doctor. The inclusion of the certifying doctor’s business contact telephone number, to help colleagues such as the registrar contact them where necessary to clarify the content of the MCCD.

In addition to these changes, the Form 11 has been revised to assist in the implementation of certain provisions of the Certification of Death (Scotland) Act 2011, which is due to be implemented in April 2015.

i) The MCCD now requires the certifying doctor to confirm, to the best of their knowledge and belief, whether there are any public health risks associated with the body of the deceased, and whether the body contains any potentially hazardous devices such as pacemakers or other implants to be removed and disposed of safely before cremation. This public health information is currently provided by doctors on Cremation Forms B and C, prescribed by the Cremation (Scotland) Regulations 1935. These forms will no longer exist once the relevant parts of the 1935 Regulations are repealed in April 2015. As a result it is envisaged that the public health information contained on the MCCD will in future be transferred onto the Certificate of Registration of Death (Form 14) by the registrar (with this form being re-prescribed prior to April 2015).

ii) The combination of the Forms 11 and 14 will therefore replace the existing Cremation forms, and will ensure the continued protection of individuals handling the body, such as funeral directors and burial and crematoria staff. Families will be relying on doctors completing these form in an accurate manner to allow the death to be registered without any holdups or additional distress.

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