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Coronavirus Act: changes to death registration in England and Wales

The General Register Office has released guidance on changes to death registration, enabling modifications to registration processes. The provisions now in place allow the following:

MCCD for registration purposes

A medical certificate can be accepted from any medical practitioner so long as they are able to state to the best of their knowledge the cause of death.

Registrars can accept MCCDs without referral to the coroner, provided it contains an acceptable cause of death, and indicates that a medical practitioner has seen the deceased either within the 28 days prior to death, or after death (this does not need to be the certifying medical practitioner).

While these provisions are in force, if it is indicated that a patient was seen in the 28 days prior to death by video link (such as Skype) this should be accepted as seen. This (video link) does not however meet the requirement for seen after death.

Advice on Covid-19 as a cause of death was provided in circular 02/2020.

Signing of the MCCD

Provision for any registered medical practitioner to issue a MCCD without having personally attended the deceased, provided they are sufficiently able, from the available information, to ascertain the cause of death.

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