Support to doctors when certifying a death
Please note: the Haringey Register Office, the Haringey Bereavement Service and the Coroner are separate departments. Please direct any enquiry to the correct department.
- Attending to the deceased prior to death
- Key information for certifying deaths
- Notification of Deaths Regulations
- Referring a death to the Coroner
- Further support and feedback
Attending to the deceased prior to death/seeing a body after death
- A doctor must have seen the patient (in person or by video link) during the last 28 days of life before they can issue an MCCD without seeing the body after death
- If a doctor had been taking care of a patient but had not seen them within the last 28 days of life they must see the body in person after death
- Where a doctor has not taken care of a patient attempts should be made to identify another doctor that did take care of the patient during their last illness
- Every effort must to taken to avoid referring a death to the Coroner as an uncertified death
Key information for certifying deaths
Please read the information below in conjunction with any additional information provided to you by the NHS and your professional organisations.
Informants (normally family members) have to attend the Haringey Register Office or the register office in the area of death, in person to register a death.
You can book an appointment online, or by calling 020 8489 2605 or 020 8489 1775.
Please send your MCCD (with your printed name and GMC number) along with any other paperwork to firstname.lastname@example.org and avoid giving to informants and family members.
You can find further information on certification processes on the NHS website (external link).
- The change takes effect from Midnight on 24 March, so affects any MCCD issued on 25 March 2022 or afterwards
- Transition arrangements allow for MCCD's issued before 25 March (Emergency COVID-19 rules) to be accepted from 25 March onwards
- Doctors to continue to send death related paperwork and the MCCD to email@example.com
- Do not give the MCCD to the family or person registering the death
- Please put the deceased name in the subject line of your email
- Clearly print your name and GMC number on the MCCD
- The doctor who issues the MCCD must have been in attendance to the deceased during the patients last illness
- Another doctor may see the deceased after death as long as:
- The signing doctor saw them in the last 28 days before death. Ring round (b)
- Otherwise, the certifying doctor has to see the body after death Ring round (a)
- A doctor may Ring round (c) "Not seen after death by a medical practitioner" if they saw the patient during the last 28 days of life but does not see the patient after death
- Deaths have to be registered in person, at the Register Office
- Funeral directors will no longer by allowed to register deaths
Information on completing a MCCD can be found on GOV.UK (external link)
Notification of Deaths Regulations
Important - the Notification of Deaths Regulations 2019 came into force on 1 October 2019. The Government has published details about how this affects doctors including the need to refer some deaths to the Coroner, at GOV.UK (external link).
Haringey Register Office can only register deaths that have occurred in Haringey (this does not include the North Middlesex Hospital and Whittington Hospital). Registrars can only register a death if a satisfactory Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death (MCCD) has been completed, or if the Coroner has issued the necessary paperwork.
Please print your name and GMC number on any MCCD that you issue.
To help with completing an MCCD you may wish to refer to this guidance document - MCCD training example form (PDF, 143KB).
Please refer the death to the Coroner if necessary. Referrals should be made by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Coroner's Service is unable to offer advice on completing a MCCD, including what is appropriate to include on a MCCD, but has produced a document titled Issuing a Medical Cause of Death Certificate - A Quick Guide (PDF, 118KB), which explains the Greater London Northern Districts Coroners process.
The Coroner has also produced:
Referring a death to the Coroner
If a coroners referral is required, the Coroner will need:
- A patient summary to the Coroners Service
- A copy of the MCCD (if you are able to complete a MCCD)
- A completed GP Referral Form 1 / Hospital Referral Form 1
If urgent action is required mark the email URGENT and explain why the matter is urgent.
Referrals should be made by email to email@example.com
Please advise the next of kin that they will need to wait for the Coroner to contact them (usually within 24 hours) before they can register the death.
Unable to access Form 1?
Access to Form 1 is through the EMIS system. If you are having issues accessing a Form 1 please contact your Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Further support and feedback
If you require further support or would like to provide feedback please send your details, including a contact telephone number, to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8489 1775