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Appointment of medical examiner delayed by Blackpool Vic

Blackpool Victoria Hospital
Blackpool Victoria Hospital
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The appointment of a Medical Examiner could reduce the number of complaints about hospital deaths, health chiefs in Blackpool have been told.

But hospital bosses have decided to delay creating the post until it becomes compulsory.

A meeting of the board of directors of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust heard if the role were to be introduced, it would involve a senior doctor working closely with the coroner.

Medical director Professor Mark O’Donnell said a Medical Examiner would oversee the issuing of death certificates at the hospital and talk to families to help them understand why a death had occured.

He said: “There have been pilots in several trusts, funded centrally, and the outcome is a reduction in the number of inquests and a reduction in complaints from families, largely because the Medical Examiner has a conversation with the families about the processes which led to the death and explained what is on the death certificate.”

But questions over how the post would be funded and legislated for prompted the board to agree not to go ahead with adopting the post at this time. Currently the move would be voluntary, the meeting was told.