Coroner’s Court Reform: Medical Examiners (MEs) system from April 2019

Coroner’s Court Reform: Medical Examiners (MEs) system from April 2019

The long awaited ME reforms envisaged in the 2009 Crown and Justice Act will now commence in April 2019. The government has carried out its consultation and has decided to introduce a system of effective medical scrutiny that will apply to all deaths that do not require a Coroner’s investigation.

The successful pilot schemes have showed that MEs ensure that death certificates were accurate and that appropriate cases were referred to the Coroner. A number of referrals resulted in an increase in the numbers of inquests but a reduction in the number of inappropriate referrals. Bereaved families are given an opportunity to ask questions and raise concerns.

This opportunity will be a welcome change to ensure the family’s concerns are explored prior to an inquest hearing and should serve to save Court hearing time and costs.