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.


COVID-19 - Information for doctors

Key information for certifying deaths from 25 March 2022

Please read the information below in conjunction with any additional information provided to you by the NHS and your professional organisations.

From 25 March 2022 informants (normally family members) will need to attend the Haringey Register Office in person to register a death - they will need to book an appointment by calling 020 8489 2605 or 020 8489 1775.

Paperwork should continue to be sent to deathsupport@haringey.gov.uk and not given to the family. Further information can be found on the NHS website: Death certification and registration easements from 25 March 2022 (PDF, external link)

Key information:

  1. The change takes effect from Midnight on 24 March, so affects any MCCD issued on 25 March 2022 or afterwards
  2. Transition arrangements allow for MCCD's issued before 25 March (Emergency COVID-19 rules) to be accepted from 25 March onwards
  3. Doctors to continue to send death related paperwork and the MCCD to deathsupport@haringey.gov.uk
    1. Do not give the MCCD to the family or person registering the death
    2. Please put the deceased name in the subject line of your email
    3. Clearly print your name and GMC number on the MCCD
  4. The doctor who issues the MCCD must have been in attendance to the deceased during the patients last illness
  5. Another doctor may see the deceased after death as long as:
    1. The signing doctor saw them in the last 28 days before death. Ring round (b)
    2. Otherwise, the certifying doctor has to see the body after death Ring round (a)
  6. 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
  7. Deaths have to be registered in person, at the Register Office
  8. Funeral directors will no longer by allowed to register deaths

Emergency measures (until midnight on 24 March 2022)

Please scan or take a clear image of any medical certificate of cause of death (MCCD) issued (front and back) and send to deathsupport@haringey.gov.uk

We do not need to see the smaller tear-off section that is given to the family. We must be able to see the section where you circle 1, 2, 3 or 4 to show if a post mortem is taking place, referral to the Coroner etc.

Please clearly print your name and GMC number on the certificate.

  • You now have to see a patient within 28 days of death instead of 14 days (you can see the patient via video link whilst still alive)
  • Certify the death if the patient was seen within 28 days of dying by another doctor and you have access to their notes. You must be satisfied that the causes relate to the patients' medical history
  • See the body after death (not by video link)

Guidance

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 admin.beh@hmc-northlondon.co.uk

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:

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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 admin.beh@hmc-northlondon.co.uk

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).

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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 registrars@haringey.gov.uk or call 020 8489 1775

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Page last updated:

March 15, 2022