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Four consultants named Medical Examiners

25 April 2019

A group of Southend Hospital’s Consultants are some of the first across England and Wales to become nationally recognised Medical Examiners.

Mr. Bandipalyam Praveen - Consultant, Gastrointestinal & Laparoscopic Surgery, Mr. Julian Sturt - Consultant, Colorectal Surgery, Dr. John Day - Consultant, General Medicine & Infectious Diseases and Dr. David King - Consultant, Critical Care, have been awarded their title by the Royal College of Pathologists

Medical Examiners were introduced to Southend University Hospital in May 2018 as a part of the mortality improvement project. Almost a year later, the Trust is considered to be an early adopter site, and continues to be a forerunner in developing systems that enable improvements for bereaved families and help the Trust learn lessons from death that improve quality of care.

By becoming some of the very first 'RCPath ME' Doctors, our medical examiners can continue to strengthen the safeguards for the public - by providing robust and independent scrutiny of the medical circumstances and cause of deaths, and ensuring the right deaths are referred to the coroner, improve the quality of certification - by providing expert advice to doctors based on a review of the relevant health records.

It also means they can escalate incidences of poor or very poor care from concerns raised by the scrutiny of the case notes or from concerns raised by bereaved families or carers.

Crucially they will help improve communication and partnership with our bereaved families by helping avoid additional distress for the bereaved that can result from unanswered questions about the certified cause of death or unanswered questions about concerns in care

Kerri Legg, Head of Nursing and Medical Examiner Implementation Lead Nurse, said: "To be amongst the first Medical Examiners in the country with these qualifications is a reflection on the commitment and dedication that our consultants show to improving death certification and mortality governance for our patients.

"Our Medical Examiners continue to provide scrutiny to all non-coronial inpatient deaths and escalate through clinical governance systems, any incidence of poor care. Having these qualifications ensure that they are doing so according to nationally recognised best practice."

Image (l-r): Mr. Julian Sturt - Consultant, Colorectal Surgery and  Mr. Bandipalyam Praveen - Consultant, Gastrointestinal & Laparoscopic Surgery