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Medical Examiner Officer

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust
£35,392 to £42,618 per annum pro rata
Closing date
2 Oct 2023

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Other Health Profession
Band 6
Contract Type
Full Time
This is an important role at County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, supporting the implementation of the Medical Examiner Service at the Trust and within the community, working closely with the Trusts Medical Examiners and the Regional Medical Examiner.

This is a national service being led by NHSE/I to ensure accuracy of certification of the cause of death and to improve involvement of bereaved families in the process. The aim of this service is to be able to scrutinise all deaths within acute hospitals and we aim to develop a responsive and fluid service, which is adaptable to the needs of our trust, our communities, and our workforce.

The Medical Examiner system will greatly enhance governance, accuracy and service to grieving friends and families, working closely with the Trust Bereavement Service.

For further information please contact Donna Johnston

Main duties of the job

To work with the Medical Examiner to implement and maintain the Medical Examiners service within County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust. The post holder will support the Medical Examiner to scrutinise the circumstances and causes of death. They will participate in the implementation of the reforms of death certification with the aim of improving the processes of death certification and referrals to the Coroner.

To be a lead specialist as a source of advice and knowledge for relatives and health care professionals involved in the process. To liaise with and advise relatives of deceased patients, healthcare professionals and coroner and registration services.

The post holder will work closely with the bereavement services and mortality review team in ensuring a seamless service.

About us

If you are being interviewed you must accept an interview slot in the system to continue, even if you have arranged with the manager

You must be able to produce ALL certificates stated essential in the person specification or you will not be able to complete pre-employment checks

We provide hospital services from two acute sites - Darlington Memorial Hospital and University Hospital of North Durham. We have a centre for planned care in Bishop Auckland and provide care from community hospitals in Chester-le-Street, Shotley Bridge, Barnard Castle, Sedgefield and Weardale as well as over 80 other community based settings and providing care in patients' homes.

We particularly welcome applications from disabled and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidates as BAME and disabled people are currently under-represented

We are unable to offer sponsorship for roles that do not require a professional registration, to apply you must have Right to Work in the United Kingdom. If you are in the UK on a VISA please ensure you have no restrictions that would prevent you from taking this post

Full Job Descriptions can be found in the adverts supporting documents

Job description

Job responsibilities

To work with medical examiners to support them in their responsibility for overseeing the death certification for all deceased patients within the Trust

To assist in the referral of deceased patients to the coroner for further medical investigation

To act as in intermediary to the medical examiners and the clinical teams to ensure all key messages are communicated in a timely and effective manner

To ensure that any duty of candour requirements are addressed by the appropriate individual

To take a lead role to improve the process of death certification and referrals to the Coroner

To develop and maintain information for the Medical Examiner service and support structures, to support research and development

Ensure that financial requirements of the medical examiners service are monitored and maintained by monitoring the service budget and financial initiatives.

Analysis and assessment of progress against and compliance with the Quality Care Commission requirements for medical examiners service, providing advice and support to Associate Directors, Clinical Leads as required on adapting plans to achieve objectives and meet emerging priorities.

Use computer software to develop and produce statistical reports using appropriate formulae on a regular basis

Be responsible for completion of regular, at least monthly, complex audits to ensure compliance with local and national guidelines and requirements as directed by the Ministry of Justice and Department on Health and Social Care

Facilitates multi-agency cohesion between Medical Examiner, Coroners Officers, Health Practitioners, the Local Authority and General Registration Officer

To lead and provide training on the Medical Examiners system for Junior Doctor Inductions and any other agency that request i.e. Registration services, coroners office, and nursing staff.

Develop, lead and implement training packages to meet department/corporate needs and to continually improve the knowledge and experience of stakeholders.

Work to provide specialist support service which enables Medical Examiners to perform their role of scrutinising the circumstances and causes of death.

Plan, co-ordinate and manage the rota for medical examiners

Keep up to date with national guidance in relation to the medical examiners service and propose changes to policies and working practices which impact across the Trust.

Ensure that Trust policies and guidelines in relation to the medical examiners service are adhered to and ensuring staff are updated as changes occur

Maintain current records and progress reports on individual projects and initiatives.

Support and facilitate the implementation of change in practice relating to the medical examiners service as directed by national organisations.

Represent the Medical Examiners service at internal meetings where applicable

The post holder will be a point of contact and source of advice for relatives of deceased patients, healthcare professionals and coroner and registration services. They will need to be able to adapt their approach to suit a variety of situations and audiences which will require highly developed communication skills.

To ensure any concerns raised by the relatives are escalated in line with Trust policy

To analyse complex data and situations and identify any trends, interpret information and report on findings and escalate according to Trust policy

Ensure trends relevant to risk and threats are managed and shared with relevant stakeholders and support in the re-alignment of operational plans to meet increased risk.

To participate in meetings with relatives alongside the medical examiner and other members of the multidisciplinary team

Plan, co-ordinate and participate in Lessons Learned events and ensure they are communicated and implemented across relevant departments and with appropriate stakeholders.

The post holder will work with autonomy, planning and managing own workload and that of the Medical Examiner to effectively deliver a wide and complex range of duties sometime with competing demands and often of a sensitive and confidential nature. The post holder will be required to maintain an awareness of diverse needs of users of the medical examiner system to ensure equality to any particular group defined by sex, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender reassignment or disability. The post holder will be required to develop the ability to work in a highly pressurized, unpredictable environment where bereavement is central to the service delivery.

To maintain confidentiality in line with Trust policy

To support the department and Trust by carrying out any other duties that reasonably fit within the broad scope of a job of this Band and type of work.

Person Specification



  • Specialist in depth experience at advanced level, this may include professional experience within a nursing/clinical background.
  • Experience of delivering training.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills with the ability to engage at all levels including senior clinicians/coroners etc about sensitive issues.
  • Abe to work to a high standard.
  • Experience of change management.
  • Excellent verbal and written skills with evidence of good quality report writing, logic problem solving and analytical skills.
  • To have an understanding of medical terminology that enables informed discussions about causes/circumstances of death with bereaved families, clinicians, coroner and registration staff.
  • Knowledge of the special requirements of the various faith groups with an awareness of equality and diversity issues surrounding death certification and arrangements.
  • Ability to work effectively and credibly with multidisciplinary teams.
  • Ability to work to deadlines and achieve agreed objectives.
  • Ability to organize work around changeable competing demands and fluctuating workloads.
  • Knowledge of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 and its relation to the Death Certification process.


  • Experience of working with bereaved relatives
  • Able to influence and negotiate change.
  • Able to assess, plan, implement and evaluate own and others training needs.
  • Knowledge of the statutory process around death certification legal frameworks and how the medical examiner system aligns with other related organisations and NHS initiatives.
  • Experience of clinical audit/promoting quality issues within healthcare.



  • Degree or equivalent experience in a relevant discipline.
  • Experience of working in a healthcare or related setting with multi-disciplinary teams of working across organizational boundaries.
  • To have qualifications/skills in day-to-day operational/process management of a customer-facing service where users may have unpredictable and emotionally charged needs.
  • Relevant IT Skills
  • Education to GCSE level Maths & English


  • Aware of the National Quality Board Learning from deaths framework.
  • Risk Management experience or qualification.

Special Skills and Knowledge


  • Able to use a range of IT software systems including Access, Word and Excel
  • Excellent keyboard skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills, showing the ability to interact in difficult and emotional situations.
  • The ability to work in a highly pressurised, unpredictable environment where bereavement care is central to the service delivery.
  • The ability to recognize own limitations and escalate appropriately.
  • Ability to resolve complex and routine enquiries using tact, diplomacy and customer focus.
  • Commitment to learning and undertaking personal development opportunities.
  • Ability to work in multiple locations within the Trust to meet the requirements of the post.


  • Knowledge of Trust patient admission system
  • Report writing skills

Special Requirements


  • Discreet and able to work confidentially
  • Flexible working approach and a team player.
  • Must have a professional manner, attitude and appearance.
  • Highly evolved self-awareness and communication skills to communicate in difficult situations with empathy and professionalism.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills to produce accurate correspondence.
  • Self-motivated and proactive.
  • Ability to travel between Trust sites.
  • Ability to be flexible to meet the needs of the team, the service and the Trust.

Any attachments will be accessible after you click to apply.


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