Gathering public views on new arrangements for death certification

The arrangements for death certification and registration in Scotland have been extensively reviewed in order to streamline the current process, improve the accuracy of death certification, and provide improved public health information about causes of death in Scotland.

The Certification of Death (Scotland) Act 2011 introduces a number of changes to the current arrangements. A new national Review Service, run by Link opens in a new windowHealthcare Improvement Scotland, will select a sample of Medical Certificates of Cause of Death (MCCDs) to check their accuracy – regardless of whether the person is to be buried or cremated. Under the previous arrangements, a burial could take place before a death was registered. From May 2015, all deaths must be registered before a body is buried or cremated.

Gathering public views on new death certification arrangementsThe Scottish Health Council ran three focus group discussions with members of the public in Orkney, Aberdeen and Dundee to review the new arrangements for death certification, including request forms, processes and the information leaflet for the general public on the Death Certification Review Service. The report, Gathering public views on new arrangements for death certificationPDF document, provides a summary of what people told us.

Additional discussion groups were later held at Cathcart United Free ChurchPDF document in Glasgow, and with members of the Muslim communityPDF document in Dundee.

(February 2015)