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Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health and Social Services

First published:
14 December 2023
Last updated:

Draft regulations relating to the role of medical examiners in Wales, which are linked to death certification reforms led by the UK Government have been published today.  

The introduction of the statutory role of medical examiners, which is due to come into force from April 2024, builds on our existing patient safety and death review processes to improve safeguards for the public. Medical examiners provide additional scrutiny of the medical circumstances and cause of death and ensure deaths are appropriately referred to coroners.

The medical examiner service in Wales operates independently of the NHS organisation providing care and can provide valuable independent and early feedback to health boards and NHS trusts about issues, which may be associated with care before death. In Wales, medical examiners provide another means by which the certifying doctor can raise concerns about care, outside their own organisations. 

An important part of the medical examiner scrutiny is a conversation with the bereaved relative or family, which gives them an opportunity to express any concerns they may have in relation to the care and treatment of their loved one.

The Wales draft regulations should be read alongside draft regulations and the Death Certification Reform document published by the UK Government and which provide the basis for the reforms and additional regulations that apply to England and Wales. The UK Government has also published a Written Ministerial Statement today.