Certification and registration of death
Certification of death
When doctors complete the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD), also known as the Form 11, they will consider a range of factors in order to determine whether, on balance, “COVID-19 Disease” or “presumed COVID-19 Disease” can legitimately be recorded as the cause of death. The hazards box on the MCCD/Form 11 (DH1) will then be ticked
On 20 May 2020, the Chief Medical Officer issued Updated Guidance to Medical Practitioners for Death Certification during the COVID-19 Pandemic. This sets out that the Lord Advocate has directed that any death due to COVID-19 or presumed COVID-19, either where the person was resident in a care home when the virus was contracted, or where there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a person contracted the disease in the course of their employment or occupation, must be reported by medical practitioners to the Procurator Fiscal.
There remain other situations when the death of a person with COVID-19 disease or presumed COVID-19 disease must be reported to the Procurator Fiscal, for example, where the death is suspicious. These situations are listed in the guidance linked above. Post mortem examinations will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
The CMO letter is also accompanied by supplementary guidance, which sets out how certifying doctors are to complete and return the MCCD to a Registrar.
Registration of death
Following commencement of emergency provisions in the UK Coronavirus Act 2020 on Thursday 26 March 2020, all registrar services in Scotland began remote registrations of death and issuing of the Certificate of Registration of Death (Form 14).
As the configuration of services is a matter for each local authority, hours are designed to best meet local need and may be subject to change. It is advised to regularly check your local authority’s website or contact your local registration office(s) to confirm opening hours.
Further information on remote registration services is provided on the National Records of Scotland website.