A new process has been introduced at Basildon University Hospital to speed up the process of collecting a loved one’s death certificate.
The trust has introduced the role of medical examiner to sit within the bereavement office and scrutinise patient notes to ensure the correct cause of death is recorded and support junior doctors to complete the required forms.
Most importantly the medical examiner is on hand to answer any questions family members may have.
Dr Godwin Simon, consultant physician and trust lead for mortality review, said: “We have a dedicated bereavement nurse who is the first point of contact for support for the family, but the medical examiner is better placed to explain the medical terminology used on the death certificates. The family are able to get an immediate explanation, which avoids confusion. All in all, it means a more streamlined process with less delay.”
Seven consultants from different specialities have been appointed to the role of medical examiner, in addition to their consultant duties.
Karen Andrews, head of end of life services, said: “Completing a death certificate can take time and all the while relatives cannot make any arrangements for their loved one. We wanted to do something to speed the process up and provide relatives with answers to any immediate questions they might have.”