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GPs force change in consent to care law

GPs in Scotland have won their battle to change new laws that force them to conduct half-hour assessments of all patients who may not be able to consent to treatment.

The Scottish Executive last week agreed to amend the code of practice in the Adults with Incapacity Act after

vigorous complaints from GPs since it was brought in last


GPs with many patients in nursing homes, who may have to conduct an hour-long assessment of mental capacity simply to administer a flu vaccine, have faced a massive increase in workload.

The executive has pro-posed a shortening of assessments for patients receiving ongoing treatment or flu vaccines and allowing some certificates of incapacity to be valid for three years not one.

Other health professionals, such as dentists and opticians, may also be allowed to sign certificates.

Dr Sandy Sutherland, former chair of Lothian LMC and a GP in Pathhead, Midlothian, led the campaign.

He said: 'By nature we are not people who flout the law so it's quite nice to know that changes will be made that will enable us to comply.'

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