It is our intention to work towards commencing implementation plans for the statutory medical examiner system from April 2023, recognising the need for all relevant government departments to be ready and aligned to enable successful implementation. The statutory medical examiner system will be centrally funded in England. This follows the required amendment to the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, which has now been made through the Health and Care Act 2022, to host medical examiners in England in NHS bodies rather than local authorities.
The National Medical Examiner has published the report for year 2021 which sets out the non-statutory medical examiner system progress to date. The medical examiner system will introduce an additional layer of scrutiny of the cause of death by the medical practitioner, improving the quality and accuracy of the medical certificate of cause of death and thereby informing the national data on mortality and patient safety. The medical examiner system will increase transparency and facilitate discussions with the bereaved about any concerns they may have, providing new levels of scrutiny to improve detection of criminal activity or poor practice.
After the statutory medical examiner system has been introduced, all non-coronial deaths will be scrutinised by a medical examiner, for both burials and cremations.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords