New arrangements for the certification and registration of deaths in Scotland were introduced on 13 May 2015. This included the establishment of an independent review service run by Healthcare Improvement Scotland.
There are two main types of review. For Level 1 reviews, the medical reviewer will check the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD or more commonly known as the death certificate) and speak to the certifying doctor. This should take one working day.
In addition to these reviews, there will be a smaller number of Level 2 reviews where the medical reviewer will speak to the certifying doctor and also check relevant medical records. This should take up to three working days.
The system randomly selects about 10% of all deaths for Level 1 review, with additional Level 2 reviews. This does not include sudden or suspicious deaths, which are reported to the Procurator Fiscal, or stillbirths. This means that around 6,000 MCCDs will be reviewed each year out of the approximately 55,000 deaths that occur in Scotland annually.
If the MCCD you bring to the registrar is selected for review, but the funeral has to take place within a certain timescale, you can apply for advance registration. This may be due to religious beliefs and traditions. If you wish to make an application for an advanced registration, please inform the registrar when you attend to register the death. An application formis attached but it is not essential to complete this prior to attending the registration office.
If you have questions or concerns about the content of the MCCD after speaking to the doctor, or if these occur to you at a later stage, you can ask Healthcare Improvement Scotland to carry out an interested person review.
The deceased’s executor or other legal representative, or
The occupier of the property where the person died, or if there is no such person,
Anyone else who knows the information to be registered.
How and Where do I Register a Death?
Any death which occurs in Scotland must be registered within eight days of the date of death by the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. The law allows a death to be registered in any registration district in Scotland.
Contact Details Robert Mackie (Funeral Directors) Ltd Almanythie Hall Grange Road Peterhead Aberdeenshire AB42 1WN Tel: 01779 478109
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