Medical Protection, the leading defence organisation for doctors has called on the new Lord Chancellor to prioritise the creation of a national coroner service in England and Wales.
In 2018 alone, we assisted 1,200 members involved in coronial investigations, and have too often seen prolonged investigations in some parts of the country, where a comparable incident elsewhere would see the same case swiftly closed. A national service, that is consistent and robust, is needed.
Dr Rob Hendry, Medical Director at Medical Protection said:
“At the moment we have a postcode lottery in coroner services that leads to considerable inconsistencies across the country. This is not fair on a deceased patient’s family, as they can be left in the coronial system whilst an unnecessary or overly long investigation takes place – at what is already an incredibly painful time. Healthcare professionals can also be poorly served by the current system. A doctor may be unnecessarily subjected to the stress of a coroner’s investigation, when one of their colleagues with a similar case in a neighbouring area would not face any investigation whatsoever. Ultimately, tax payers fund the system, and too often they are left funding needless delays and unnecessary processes.
“We believe the creation of a national coroner service in England and Wales, similar to that of Scotland, where the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service decide when an inquiry is in the public interest, would lead to the better use of resources and ensure consistent practice across the country.
“We stand ready to assist the Government, as we have an abundance of knowledge and expertise on this issue. We are keen to see that it is prioritised as a matter of urgency, so a fair service is created for all.”
For press enquiries, please contact the MPS press office.
About Medical Protection
Medical Protection is a trading name of The Medical Protection Society Limited (“MPS”). MPS is the world’s leading protection organisation for doctors, dentists and healthcare professionals. We protect and support the professional interests of more than 300,000 members around the world. Membership provides access to expert advice and support and can also provide, depending on the type of membership required, the right to request indemnity for any complaints or claims arising from professional practice.
Our in-house experts assist with the wide range of legal and ethical problems that arise from professional practice. This can include clinical negligence claims, complaints, medical and dental council inquiries, legal and ethical dilemmas, disciplinary procedures, inquests and fatal accident inquiries.
Our philosophy is to support safe practice in medicine and dentistry by helping to avert problems in the first place. We do this by promoting risk management through our workshops, E-learning, clinical risk assessments, publications, conferences, lectures and presentations.
MPS is not an insurance company. All the benefits of membership of MPS are discretionary as set out in the Memorandum and Articles of Association.