Medical examiners

A national system of medical examiners was rolled out in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar to provide much-needed support for bereaved families and to improve patient safety. The College is the lead medical royal college for medical examiners and plays a key role in the training of medical examiners and medical examiner officers, as well as working closely with the National Medical Examiner on implementation of the service.

Over 1500 medical examiners and medical examiner officers have been trained since 2019, and the College continues to provide regular training days and continuing professional development opportunities.

Medical examiners are employed in the NHS system by acute trusts in England, and NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership in Wales.

Initial medical examiner training comprises two parts; online modules and a face-to-face or virtual training day. Medical examiners can claim up to 10 CPD credits after completing all mandatory 26 eLfH e-learning modules (Nov 2018 revision). Please access the modules via the eLfH website and not via trust-based ERS systems, which may not record completion. We expect the e-learning to take around 8-10 hours, depending on previous experience. The face-to-face training day (6 CPD credits) may be completed online or in person, and can be booked via the Conferences section of the website.

Extending medical examiner scrutiny to non-acute settings

As the lead medical royal college for medical examiners, we welcome the roll out of the medical examiner system to cover deaths in non-acute and community settings.

It is another important step towards creating a world-leading system of death investigation and patient safety improvement, with every death in England and Wales that is not reported to a Coroner being scrutinised by an independent medical examiner.

Crucially it will also give all bereaved families the opportunity to ask questions or raise concerns about the care of a loved one.

What are medical examiners? Medical examiners are part of a national network of specially trained independent senior doctors from any specialty. Overseen by the National Medical Examiner, they scrutinise all deaths that do not fall under the coroner’s jurisdiction.