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GPs won't be forced to check bodies for abuse

The Government has pulled back from forcing GPs to examine bodies of nursing home residents for signs of abuse before issuing death certificates.

The decision comes after the health select committee failed to recommend the move in its report on elder abuse.

The committee called for stricter controls on death certification for nursing home residents, but fell into line with Home Office proposals that nurses and para- medics could also verify deaths.

MPs also said a team of 'statutory medical assessors' should monitor death certification by doctors.

Health minister Stephen Ladyman had asked the Department of Health to review GMC guidance on death certification to see if it was 'rigorous enough'.

In evidence to the committee, he said he was 'concerned' GPs did not have to check the body.

But Mr Ladyman told Pulse last week he was satisfied the Home Office plans went far enough and he would not push for a tougher line.

Paul Burstow MP, a Liberal Democrat committee member, said it wanted to create a certification system that would 'strike a balance' and 'not

create an onerous burden' on GPs.

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