England and Wales Medical Examiner changes coming into force in September

15/04/2024   //   No Comments

The Government has today laid before Parliament regulations to ensure all deaths in England and Wales are legally subject to a medical examiner’s scrutiny or a coroner’s investigation.

The changes will come into force on 9th September and “will put all the medical examiner system’s obligations, duties and responsibilities on a statutory footing, and ensure they are recognised by law”.

In a statement to the House of Commons, Maria Caulfield, Minister for Mental Health and Women’s Health Strategy, said the changes would “provide greater transparency on the circumstances surrounding a death”.

She added: “The introduction of medical examiners is part of a broader set of reforms to death certification, coronial and registration processes which will allow for the efficient flow of information between medical practitioners, medical examiners, coroners and registrars in the new system.”

The Minister said this was the “most significant set of reforms to death certification in 70 years”, adding that the Government had allowed additional time to prepare for implementation.

“We are working closely with our partners in Government, local registration services, coronial services and the health service to ensure that the appropriate operational processes are in place to deliver these changes in September 2024,” she said.

There will be further communication regarding legislative changes and operational guidance between now and September 2024.

In March this year, SAIF revealed that the implementation of the Medical Examiner system for England and Wales would not happen during the first half of April, having already been delayed by 12 months.

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