Your death rates are about to be checked

National Medical Examiner Dr Alan Fletcher has published his first report, outlining progress and next steps in the roll-out of medical examiners. But with this new system set for a statutory footing in Government health service legislation, David Hare reports on the implications for independent healthcare providers treating millions of NHS and private patients. 

As Independent Practitioner Today readers will be aware, implementation of medical examiners began in England and Wales in 2019 with the appointment of the National Medical Examiner and recruitment of national and regional teams. 

Medical examiners were recommended by the Shipman Inquiry and are designed to help make it easier to detect unusual patterns of deaths

Their introduction was one of the recommendations of the Shipman Inquiry and was designed to help make it easier to detect unusual patterns of deaths. 

Indeed, a core part of the medical examiner role is to provide bereaved people with clear information about the cause of death, and an opportunity to raise any concerns they may have about the care and treatment provided to the deceased person. 

Since 2019, medical examiner offices have now been established at 130 acute trusts in England – with five still to implement their plans – and at regional hubs in Wales.