Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has written to the Death Certification National Steering Group members to advise that the full implementation of the proposed new local medical examiner (ME) service has been delayed until April 2014.
The Health and Social Care Act 2012 includes provision for responsibility for the new local ME service to sit with local authorities (LAs).
LAs are already responsible for the coroners services and registrars, and this will be complemented by their new role in public health. Pilots have demonstrated that the new system operates effectively in a range of settings in:
- the community
- urban and rural areas.
An advantage to extending the timetable is it will allow work to be extended on two sites to show that it can also work at scale, and can accommodate the particular complexities and sensitivities of neonatal and child deaths.
Read the letter on the death certification reforms.