COVID-19 (Death Certification)

The rules have changed since 25th march 2020 on death certification, below is a brief summary of how this might affect us. We are aiming to keep a death certification box in both ED’s so that these can be completed in a timely fashion.


Any doctor can complete a death certificate (MCCD) even if they haven’t seen the patient providing:

  1. The doctor that saw the patient is unable to sign the MCCD (impractical for them due to the extensive pressures or due to being in isolation) AND
  2. The doctor who is going to sign the MCCD to the best of their knowledge can determine the cause of death AND
  3. A doctor has attended to the deceased within 28 days of death (this can be by video consultation but not audio)


If another doctor attended the deceased to the one writing the MCCD then you will need to record the name and the GMC number of the doctor attending to the deceased prior to their death


If the deceased hasn’t been seen by a doctor within 28 days prior to their death then any doctor can complete their death certificate if

  1. The doctor can give a cause of death to the best of their knowledge AND
  2. The doctor has obtained agreement from the coroner


  • Covid-19 is now an acceptable cause of death for completing the death certificate
  • If you suspect for example covid-19 and want to put this as a cause of death but there is no diagnostic proof (i.e swabs aren’t back) then you can still complete the MCCD form but need to either circle number 2 on the front of the form or tick box B on the back of the form


Only the first part of the cremation (part 4) needs to be completed and cremation form can be done by any doctor if the doctor verifying death can’t complete it as long as a MCCD has been completed (see rules above)

You don’t need to examine the body after death as long as the deceased has been examined either within 28 days or after death by a doctor

On Q 6 and 7 on crem form can put N/A and on Q8 you will need to document the name of doctor that examined the patient, time, date and nature of examination


PDF: Coronavirus excess death act

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