There are three SFIU teams in Scotland (north, east and west) which are made up of a number of legal and administrative staff.

The SFIU North Team are based in the Procurator Fiscal’s Offices in Dundee, Aberdeen, and Inverness. The SFIU East Team is based in the Procurator Fiscal’s Offices in Edinburgh and the SFIU West Team is based in the Procurator Fiscal’s Offices in Glasgow. The death should be reported to the SFIU Team in whose area the significant event leading to the death occurred. 

Contact details can be found in the annex section of the guidance for medical practitioners booklet available here

Note that an MCCD may be issued if a medical practitioner is able to identify a cause of death to the best of his or her knowledge and belief. Certainty is not required

Discuss the case with the consultant or senior doctor responsible for the care of the deceased before submitting a report to the Procurator Fiscal

Provide the Procurator Fiscal with all of the information required using clear statements of fact with a notification of death form in paper (eF5 Form) or online format. You can view an example eF5 form here.

Notify the Procurator Fiscal as soon as possible after the death and before any steps are taken to issue an MCCD. If an MCCD has been issued to the family and the Procurator Fiscal declines to accept the cause of death, this will have to be retrieved from the family, which will cause unnecessary distress*

Be prepared to receive a follow up call to discuss the completed notification of death report from the Procurator Fiscal office

Be prepared to provide details of another colleague who is aware of the circumstances of death via the notification of death form and whom the Procurator Fiscal may contact if necessary

Not tick the ‘Procurator Fiscal PF’ box on the MCCD if the Procurator Fiscal has been consulted for advice only, and following discussions with the Procurator Fiscal it has been agreed that the circumstances of the death in question are not reportable. Such discussion with the Procurator Fiscal should be recorded in the clinical records of the deceased patient.

* In normal circumstances, death reports should be made to the Procurator Fiscal during office hours. In situations of urgency, particularly where the death is suspicious or there are religious rites which require to be observed, a death report may be made outside office hours to the on call service, contactable through the police.

Deaths from COVID-19 disease in Scotland: Guidance on accurate death certification & reporting to the Procurator Fiscal

This guidance document from the Death Certification Review Service at Healthcare Improvement Scotland provides a guide for certifying doctors in Scotland on how to achieve accurate death certification and reporting to the Procurator Fiscal. It focuses particularly on deaths from COVID-19 disease and uses case studies as illustrative scenarios.

To view the document, click on the image below.