18 November 2022
The Ministry of Justice has provided an update on the implementation of the Medical Examiner system:
‘We wrote to you in May 2022 to let you know of planned changes to the regulatory framework for cremation as part of the implementation of the wider reforms to death certification and the introduction of the statutory medical examiner programme. The primary purpose of that communication was to confirm that the existing role of medical referee would be retained for a transitionary period following implementation of the statutory medical examiner system, in order to ensure continuity and to provide the opportunity for any necessary consequential changes to be identified.
However, we understand that there is some uncertainty amongst medical referees about the implementation of the statutory medical examiner system. We thought it might be helpful to highlight the Government’s statement on the implementation of the medical examiner system made on the 9 June which notes that the intention is to work towards implementing the statutory medical examiner system from April 2023. The link to the statement can be found at: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2022-06-09/hcws85
We will keep the current medical referee role for a transitionary period following the implementation of the statutory medical examiner system. We will provide further clarity on when the transitionary period will begin and its duration as soon as we can. We want to reassure you that there will be no sudden cliff edge and we will continue to work with the sector on the implementation of the reforms to the death certification process.’
DMAG continues to work with the Ministry of Justice to ensure as effective and efficient introduction of the new system, as possible.