The death of a loved one can be difficult. There are lots of practical tasks to complete and people who may contact you. This information helps to explain the role of the Medical Examiner and Medical Examiner’s Officers (MEO) following a death.
What is the Medical Examiner?
Medical examiners are required to review the last episode of care (either the final hospital admission, or the care within the community) for all patients who die in England and Wales where a Coroner’s referral is not needed.
Sometimes, when a person dies, their last episode of care can be complicated, with lots of medical terminology or an unclear sequence of events. Some families experience difficulties getting answers to their questions.
By reviewing the notes, the Medical Examiner, or Medical Examiner’s Officer, will be able to explain the events leading up to the death. They will also give an opinion about the cause of death as written on the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death.
A discussion with a medical examiner, or their team, provides you with an opportunity to have a conversation with someone who was not involved in providing care to the person who died, to ask any questions, or raise any concerns.
The Medical Examiner system was set up by Government and has been established within hospitals for some time. It is now also reviewing deaths outside of hospital, for example deaths in care homes, the patient’s own home, community hospitals and hospices.
University Hospitals Birmingham hosts the independent Medical Examiner’s Service for Birmingham and Solihull.
Who can I contact?
This information is intended to summarise the role of the independent Medical Examiner Service for Birmingham and Solihull. If you have any queries about the legal processes required prior to registration of the death, please contact the organisation that is dealing with the paperwork, e.g. GP practice, hospice or hospital.
Last reviewed: 02 September 2022