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Medical Examiner

Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust
£84,559 to £114,003 a year per annum pro rata
Closing date
3 Sep 2022

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Hospital, Pathology
Career Level
Contract Type
Part Time
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The Trust is seeking to appoint Medical Examiners (ME) to assure an appropriate response to the Department of Health guidelines and reforms to death certification and scrutiny, and the inclusion of deaths in the non-acute sector into the existing ME process in acute care.

The Medical Examiner service does independent scrutiny of all non-coronial deaths, providing support and reassurance for the bereaved and relatives of the deceased. Also providing support for completion of the MCCD and assistance with referrals to the coroner. The proportionate scrutiny done by the service helps to identify areas of exemplary care, and also areas for improving care for patients and where further review is required. This is well aligned to the learning from death recommendations from the CQC and National Quality Board Learning, Candour, and Accountability and National Guidance on Learning from Deaths papers.

Main duties of the job

This is an exciting opportunity for post holders to support the existing ME office to help reshape the national programme in our locality; developing and embedding the service further into the community. You will be a key part of the medical examiner and Learning from Death Team contributing to improvement of care for the entire health economy and the people of Walsall.

You will be based at the ME office at Walsall Manor hospital working across boundaries, acute and community, reviewing notes of deceased patients, identifying areas where more detailed structured judgemental review is required, and providing support for the bereaved, clinical teams and the coroner. This is an excellent opportunity to learn and to teach as you support junior medical staff in the process of and assurance of the quality of death certification.

We are seeking to appoint a number of Medical Examiners to support and enable adequate service provision 52 weeks of the year. We do not provide an out of hours service presently.

The position is suitable for senior medical staff, including GPs, hospital consultants and SAS doctors, with GMC registration and licence to practice.

We will be looking to make a number of appointments, each attracting payment of between 0.5 to 2 PAs per week; Each PA being made up of 4 hours. Terms and conditions will be as per standard NHS working regulations along with each individual's existing payment tariff.

About us

We are an integrated organisation providing both community and hospital services within the local health economy with a combined total income of just over 220 million. The trust directly employs more than 4,000 staff making it one of the largest employers in Walsall.

The hospital site was substantially redeveloped between 2007 and 2010 and has 550 acute beds. It also comprises of outpatient, diagnostic and treatment facilities for short stay cases whilst the upgraded older building provides emergency care.

Over the last 12 months more than 50m has been invested in healthcare services across the hospital's estate which includes two new, state-of-the-art MRI scanners, the creation of a new 22 bedded Intensive Care Unit and a new Obstetric Theatre and expansion of the Neonatal Unit.

The ME office at the Manor Hospital has been established since February 2020, and the benefits of medical examiner role has been clearly demonstrated. We are an established part of the Mortality governance and learning from deaths process, and now in a position to implement the service to include deaths that occur in the non-acute sector.

Job description
Job responsibilities

1. To ensure compliance with the legal and procedural requirements associated with the current and proposed reformed processes of certification, investigation by coroners and registration of deaths.2. To scrutinise the certified causes of death offered by attending doctors in a way that is proportionate, consistent and compliant with the proposed national protocol.3. To discuss and explain the cause of death with next of kin/informants in a transparent, tactful and sympathetic manner. It is anticipated that such discussions will be predominantly conducted through telephone conversations where barriers to understanding information may exist.4. To ensure that all users of the ME system are treated with respect and are not discriminated against on the grounds of sex, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender reassignment or disability.5. To maintain comprehensive records of all deaths scrutinised and undertake analysis to provide information to the National Medical Examiners Office.6. To participate in relevant clinical governance activities relating to death certification including audits, mortality review patient care.

For further information please see the attached job description and person specification.

Person Specification
Knowledge, Skills and Performance

  • Medical practitioner registered and licensed to practice in the UK by the GMC for the past 5 years
  • MEs should have up-to-date knowledge of causes of death and an understanding of the legal frameworks associated with death certification processes
  • IT skills including use of email and commonly used software
  • Ability to manage and comply with sensitive information-based processes under tight timescales with a proportionate approach
  • Knowledge of the special requirements of various faith groups and respect for equality and diversity
  • A commitment to life-long learning and undertaking personal development opportunities
  • Candidates must have successfully completed the mandatory e-learning modules by the time they start the role. Candidates must attend a face-to-face training session within first 6 months in post.

Safety and Quality, Clinical Governance

  • Knowledge of local and national clinical governance systems and an understanding of how the ME can work collaboratively to improve patient safety by identifying sub-optimal clinical and organizational performance
  • Ability to identify available data sources to support the detection and analysis of concerns and to recognise gaps in available knowledge

Communication and Teamwork

  • Strong interpersonal skills demonstrating the ability to communicate in difficult and emotional situations with empathy and professionalism
  • Ability to work effectively and efficiently within own team and also closely with people in other disciplines
  • Ability to work as part of a team and organize a fluctuating workload around competing priorities and numerous interruptions

Personal Qualities and Behavioural Attributes

  • Have the resilience to manage own reaction to frequently distressing situations and support others within the team
  • To sustain professional integrity and independence at all times, particularly where there is the potential for a conflict of interest
  • Proactive and self-motivated with a flexible working approach


BMJRef: BMJ-89693/407-CORP-4442463


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