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Confirming the cause of a death

Contents

  1. Overview
  2. Confirming the cause of death
  3. Raising a concern about the cause of death
  4. Contact the Medical Examiner Office
  5. More information

Overview

The cause of a death will be agreed by the Medical Examiner Office if the death:

  • took place in a South Tyneside or Sunderland hospital, and
  • the death has not been not referred to the coroner

As the next of kin, you will be able to discuss any concerns about the cause of death, and the care your relative received before their death, with the Medical Examiner Office.

For guidance when a death has been referred to a coroner, see Bereavement Advice Centre: When a coroner is involved.

Confirming the cause of death

The Medical Examiner Office is staffed by a team of senior doctors.

The Medical Examiner Office will:

  • review the medical notes of the patient
  • discuss the cause of death with the medical team in charge of the patient's care
  • complete the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death

This process will take place before the death can be registered.

Medical examiners and their staff will only review cases where they have not been directly involved in the care of the patient.

Raising a concern about the cause of death

As the next of kin, the Medical Examiner Office will contact you by phone to explain the cause of death.

You will be given the opportunity to raise any questions or concerns about:

  • the cause of death
  • the care your relative received before their death

Contact the Medical Examiner Office

The Lead Medical Examiner for South Tyneside and Sunderland is Dr Catherine Barnes.

You can contact the Medical Examiner Office on:

  • 0191 202 4005 - South Tyneside District Hospital
  • 0191 569 9124 - Sunderland Royal Hospital

More information

 

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