A major reduction in coroner delays could be one step closer following a meeting between the Board of Deputies and the Minister for Patient Safety Nadine Dorries.
Ms Dorries called on the Board of Deputies to work with civil servants to ensure medical examiners are effective following the introduction of medical examiners based within NHS trusts to scrutinise deaths, improve death certification and reduce unnecessary referrals to coroners.
The Board of Deputies set out a number of proposals to the minister, including ensuring medical examiners have a duty of care to the deceased and their family, while providing them with the option to organise non-invasive autopsies.
They highlighted the main questions of whether, on referral to the coroner, the medical examiner should advise whether body needs to be held onto further to avoid any unnecessary delays.
Also attending the meeting was Professor David Katz, medical advisor to the Board, Sidney Sinitsky of the Addas Yisroel Burial Society and Rabbi Stanley Coten, who represents Jewish hospital chaplains in NHS structures.
Amanda Bowman, vice president of the Board of Deputies said: “The Jewish community has positive relations with the vast majority of coroners, and we appreciate all their hard work on behalf of the community.
“There is no doubt that in recent years increased coroner referral and decreased hospital autopsies has led in some cases to difficulties for our community. We appreciate Ms Dorries’ support, and we hope that her proposal that working with civil servants on the medical examiner reform will bring real benefits”.
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