Author Topic: England to require ethnicity on death certificates to help tackle Covid-19  (Read 279 times)

Offline bibliotaphist

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England to require ethnicity on death certificates to help tackle Covid-19
« on: Thursday 22 October 20 08:13 BST (UK) »
On the Guardian news website today:

Quote
"The government is to make the recording of ethnicity on death certificates in England mandatory in an effort to tackle the unequal impact of Covid-19 on people from minority erhnic groups."

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/22/uk-to-require-ethnicity-on-birth-certificates-to-help-tackle-covid-19

I thought this was interesting. In (all?) other official records in the UK where ethnicity is recorded for an identifiable individual (e.g. very recent censuses; job application diversity monitoring), there are strict rules on how that data can be used and shared, and a person's "ethnic group, national identity and religion" are usually self-declared. I can't think of any other record in England and Wales which would be open to the public, and in which ethnicity would be assigned to the subject of the record by another person. Presumably this will be the informant, rather than the doctor certifying the death.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/methodology/classificationsandstandards/measuringequality/ethnicgroupnationalidentityandreligion


Offline PaulineJ

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Re: England to require ethnicity on death certificates to help tackle Covid-19
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 22 October 20 09:17 BST (UK) »
I'm surprised it's "needed", other than for a tick box exercise in the current situation.

Surely it would be more useful to pass the deceased's anonymised NHS record for anaylsis to include ethnicity (not to mention any other health issues) . And it's the anaylsis of those statistics which decides whether drug A or drug B is the better treatment for a particular patient.

Pauline



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Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: England to require ethnicity on death certificates to help tackle Covid-19
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 22 October 20 15:49 BST (UK) »
I was annoyed at an NHS employee at a hospital presuming my ethnicity, although to be fair, she did say it as if she was asking. I corrected her and told her what to put.
I didn't like any of the options on 2001 census. I described myself as Lancashire-Irish on 2011 census. :)
There's currently disagreement re ethnicity and Covid-19. Suggestions that jobs and living conditions are highly relevant. 
Cowban


Offline bibliotaphist

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Re: England to require ethnicity on death certificates to help tackle Covid-19
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 24 October 20 14:54 BST (UK) »
Reading the UK Government's Race Disparity Unit report which is the topic of that Guardian article, it in fact says:

Quote
" Work is underway to make recording of ethnicity as part of the death certification process mandatory, to establish a complete picture of the impact of the virus on ethnic minorities. This would involve making ethnicity a mandatory question for healthcare professionals to ask of patients, and transferring that ethnicity data to a new, digitised Medical Certificate Cause of Death which can then inform ONS mortality statistics."

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/quarterly-report-on-progress-to-address-covid-19-health-inequalities

So, I wonder if the actual proposal would be to record a deceased patient's ethnicity consistently on the MCCD which precedes the actual death certificate, rather than on the death cert. itself.

Offline AntonyMMM

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Re: England to require ethnicity on death certificates to help tackle Covid-19
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 25 October 20 15:13 GMT (UK) »
It might be put on the MCCD eventually, but I think it is far more likely (in the short term) to just be added to the information already gathered by the registrar during the registration as part of the statistical data recorded for all birth/deaths and which is forwarded to ONS for analysis, but never gets seen on the publicly available records. It won't be on the register entry, or any any death certificates issued.

It would be a very simple to add an ethnicity  question to the computer system (RON), that registrars already use.